Acute effects of warm-up stretch protocols on balance, vertical jump height, and range of motion in dancers

Niamh Morrin, Emma Redding
Journal of Dance Medicine & Science 2013, 17 (1): 34-40
The aim of this study was to examine the acute effects of static stretching (SS), dynamic stretching (DS), and a combined (static and dynamic) stretch protocol on vertical jump (VJ) height, balance, and range of motion (ROM) in dancers. A no-stretch (NS) intervention acted as the control condition. It was hypothesized that the DS and combination stretch protocols would have more positive effects on performance indicators than SS and NS, and SS would have negative effects as compared to the NS condition. Ten trained female dancers (27 ± 5 years of age) were tested on four occasions. Each session began with initial measurements of hamstring ROM on the dominant leg. The participants subsequently carried out a cardiovascular (CV) warm-up, which was followed by one of the four randomly selected stretch conditions. Immediately after the stretch intervention the participants were tested on VJ performance, hamstring ROM, and balance. The data showed that DS (p < 0.05) and the combination stretch (p < .05) produced significantly greater VJ height scores as compared to SS, and the combination stretch demonstrated significantly enhanced balance performance as compared to SS (p < 0.05). With regard to ROM, a one-way ANOVA indicated that SS and the combination stretch displayed significantly greater changes in ROM than DS (p < 0.05). From comparison of the stretch protocols used in the current study, it can be concluded that SS does not appear to be detrimental to a dancer's performance, and DS has some benefits but not in all three key area's tested, namely lower body power (VJ height), balance, and range of motion. However, combination stretching showed significantly enhanced balance and vertical jump height scores and significantly improved pre-stretch and post-stretch ROM values. It is therefore suggested that a combined warm-up protocol consisting of SS and DS should be promoted as an effective warm-up for dancers.

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