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Author Topic: How much in advance of skating can you do stretches?  (Read 1119 times)

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Online tstop4me

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How much in advance of skating can you do stretches?
« on: November 24, 2015, 05:57:37 PM »
A question for members with a background in physical therapy or physical training.  I know that to minimize injury you should perform stretching exercises prior to skating.  Some people bring yoga mats to the rink and spread out on the floor.  Yuck!  Floors at most rinks are really gross.  Even if you don't do exercises that require sprawling on the floor, it gets iffy if there are crowds of people bumping into you. 

So, if I do my stretches at home and hit the ice about an hour later, am I OK?

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: How much in advance of skating can you do stretches?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 11:38:43 PM »
Good question.  An hour ahead sounds totally pointless.  I suspect the effect of a dynamic stretching warmup wears off as soon as your heart rate returns to normal.  Does anyone know?  I often wonder if the warmup has lost its usefulness while I tie my skates.

I see many people doing static stretching to "warm up" instead of dynamic stretching.

Offline fsk8r

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Re: How much in advance of skating can you do stretches?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2015, 02:10:34 AM »
The latest advice is dynamic stretching before exercise (but after raising the heart rate by warming up  - jogging etc). Static stretching should be saved for after exercise.
But I'm sure the researchers will be along soon to change the advice again.

Offline Query

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Re: How much in advance of skating can you do stretches?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2015, 12:46:41 AM »
Given that the results of research change with the wind, I did some experimentation - that applies to me, and only to me.

Let me state first that in some ways minor muscle pulls have been one of the most common ways I get hurt. )I'm not even sure most athletes would say "hurt", because the effects usually wear off, as far as I can tell, after a few minutes.) This is probably because I am not a very flexible person, but I like to do some sports where flexibility is a substantial benefit.

When doing an activity (like some ice skating moves, and some kayak moves) that (for me) involves stretches, I find I am less likely to feel minor muscle pulls if I do static stretches first. If the activity involves fairly strong dynamic stretches, I also think it helps me to do a few reasonably gentle dynamic stretches first. But stretches don't really do much for me if I do them in a cold environment, such as in many ice rink buildings.

Perhaps some things like this depend on your body, and are part of learning how not to injure your personal self, rather than being applicable to everyone? If so, you may need to experiment.

Offline Doubletoe

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Re: How much in advance of skating can you do stretches?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2015, 06:18:06 PM »
The latest advice is dynamic stretching before exercise (but after raising the heart rate by warming up  - jogging etc). Static stretching should be saved for after exercise.

This.  Exactly.  A lot of people still believe that stretching before exercise prevents injury, but it isn't true.  In fact, stretching muscles that haven't been warmed up is a great way to *cause* injury. More on this: http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/flexibility/a/aa022102a.htm

 I always do static stretching immediately *after* skating and I find that the effects of that stretching last for the rest of the day.  By that, I mean that if I skate a practice session and then stretch afterwards, I enjoy the benefits of good flexibility later that day when I skate my program in competition.  Thanks to the 30 minutes of static stretching I do after every practice, my flexibility is pretty good now even when I'm not warmed up.

I don't have time for an off-ice warmup before I skate, so I do stroking exercises and some spins for 15 minutes at the start of the session, after which my muscles are warmed up enough to do a few dynamic stretches by the boards that help me loosen up the necessary areas for my spiral, pancake spin and spread eagle.  I have not suffered any pulled muscles in the 10 years since I started this routine of on-ice warmup and light stretching, then deep stretching after skating.   OK, I had ONE pulled muscle (this year), and that was from the one week I DIDN'T employ this routine and did a split on the ice at the end of every run-through of my showcase program.  Never again! :(