To investigate whether sprint-specific stretches are more effective are more effective when compared to standard dynamic stretches at enhancing sprint performance
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Within sport warm up precedes almost every athletic performance, the effectiveness of warm up can determine how prepared an athlete is for the performance ahead, and subsequently how well they perform. One of the major factors within warm up is stretching. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of sprinting specific dynamic stretches on the fifty metre sprint performance. Nine undergraduate sport students participated within the study. Three different stretch protocols, Sprint Specific Stretching (SSS), Non Specific Dynamic Stretching (NSD) or Non Quadriceps Dynamic Stretching (NQD); were performed in a randomised repeated measures design. Following a standardised one kilometer warm up, participants completed one of the three stretch protocols, followed by two fifty metre stride outs. A two minute rest period was observed prior to the first of the two fifty metre sprints and in between sprints. There were no significant differences in fifty metre sprint times between the three stretch protocols (p≤ 0.05). There were no significant differences in stride frequency, stride length, and ground contact time between the three stretch protocols between twenty and thirty metres of the sprint (p≤ 0.05). When the sprint times were split into ten metre splits the results show that within the first ten meter split, the NQD stretch protocol was significantly faster than the SSS protocol. Between ten and twenty meters, the SSS stretch protocol was significantly faster than both the NQD and NSD stretch protocol. The NSD stretch protocol was significantly faster than the SSS stretch protocol between thirty and forty metres. The SSS stretch protocol was significantly faster than the NQD stretch protocol between forty and fifty metres, (all p≤ 0.05). Although fifty metre sprint performance was not found to be improved, the SSS protocol did yield significantly faster ten metre split times over two of the ten metre splits. Due to the positioning of the Optojump system, it is unclear as to why these results occurred, as stride length, stride frequency and ground contact time were unable to be recorded over these distances. In order to understand why the SSS was faster over these two ten metre sections of the fifty metre sprints, the Optojump system must be positioned in order for stride frequency, stride length and ground contact time to be recorded.
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