T Nation

Football games stretching, etc

I was just thinking about this and decided to post. Since many of the experts like Joe Defranco, Don Alessi, and JP in their recent roundtable all agree that static stretching before training makes you weaker, then how come before football games and other sporting events, we are told to stretch out and even do team static stretching before the game? Should we not static stretch before our football games and practices? Thanks a lot.


You would use mobility drills like hurdle work and various lunges, iron crosses, etc. Save the static stretch for afterwards.

i’ve thought about this question myself. for last several months, i’ve been trying to condition my body to reach its prepped and ready stage with less and less static stretching, and more dynamic stretching. i definitely like the results.

having said that, i don’t think i’ll ever totally eliminate static stretching from from my pre-game/pre-practice routine. as strange as it sounds, a football game is NOT simply about maximal force output, like say, performing a 1RM bench or squat is. if i were stretching in preparation for a single drive block, maybe i’d go without static stretching. but i’m stretching in preparation for 3 hours of almost non-stop work, and i can’t imagine being able to do that without static stretching beforehand.

Thanks Squattin. So if I were to avoid static stretching, you don’t think that would be a hamstring pull (etc.) waiting to happen?

Playing a football game is nothing like lifting weights. Prevent injuries from happening and do dynamic and static stretching before your games. It won’t hinder your performance.


I coach a rugby team and, against all tradition, have eliminated static stretching from pre-practice and pre-game warm-ups. I have had no complaints from the players and no increase in injury. Tradition is a hard thing to break and my assistant coaches were scratching their heads but they have come around. Players tend to like static stretching pre-game as it gives them a bit of a rest! Replace it with dynamic movements- high knees, butt kicks, caricoas, one-on- one wrestling, etc after some straight line jogging and/or low intensity skills practice and you’ll be ready to go. Static stretch after games and workouts for increased flexibility and perhaps reduced soreness (although there is no definite proof that stretching post-exercise reduces soreness).