There are two articles of interest in this newsletter: The first one is confirming a point I had a few months ago, and the second topic is…OK, I’m not sure what the point of it is, but it’s in the blog, so watch the video.
Topic #1: Dynamic Warm-up Prevents Injury
A couple months ago, I posted a review of many studies showing that static stretching does not reduce injury when done before athletics. I had also stated that a dynamic warm-up does help prevent injury and we would talk more about it in an upcoming newsletter. Well, right on cue, this study just came out:
This study had 90 high school coaches and 1558 athletes. The coaches were randomly selected to be in a “control” group, or an “intervention” group. The intervention group received formal training on how to implement a 20-minute neuromuscular warm-up before practices and a shorter version before games. The warm-up consisted of jogging, dynamic motion (e.g., skipping, side shuffle), strengthening exercises (e.g., heel raises, squats), plyometrics (e.g., squat jumps, tuck jumps), and agility runs. Coaches were also taught to distinguish proper and improper form, and how to use verbal cues to promote proper techniques. Finally, coaches were provided a tool kit with DVDs, laminated cards, and printed educational materials.
On the other hand, the “control” coaches were told to use their regular warm up routine.
In the end, athletes performing the dynamic warm-up from the “intervention” coaches had lower rates of gradual-onset lower extremity injuries, acute-onset noncontact lower extremity injuries, noncontact ankle sprains, lower extremity injuries treated surgically, noncontact knee sprains, and noncontact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. All these injuries were statistically significantly less in the warm up group. Prevention numbers varied; you would need 46 athletes to do the warm-up to prevent 1 noncontact lower extremity injuries and up to 191 athletes to prevent a noncontact ACL injuries.
Topic #2: Training in the rain with some Kenyans
There are currently no marathoners ranked in the top 20 in the world that are not Kenyan. That is unbelievable for a country of 40 million. How do they do it? Is it training at altitude, genetics, shear determination, training volume? Who knows. This video shows that it’s certainly not the amount of money put into training facilities. (yes, I know this is Asbel Kiprop who is the 1500 m world champ – not a marathoner, but you get the point)
I see two ways of looking at this: #1) The hard work that they put in is way beyond what most Westerners would do (try getting some prima donna athletes on a field that looks like that, in the rain – not a chance) or #2) the Kenyans nudged and winked at each other when the video was made and now they are sitting back laughing at the silly Americans who are going to start running around dragging tires behind them and tying bicycle inner tubes up to each other.