Stretching is good for us, right? Well, yes and no! It turns out that you have to do the right kind of stretching for the right duration at the right time according to what activity you are about to do. This article makes sense of the confusing mass of literature about stretching and will allow you to give individually tailored, sport-specific advice to your clients about how to get the benefits of stretching while avoiding the potential decrease in power output. This is not only crucial for the professional athlete where marginal gains can make all the difference, but is also useful for amateurs looking for improvements too. Login or register a free account below to access the contents, key points and discussion questions that accompany the article.
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Kathryn Thomas (BSc Physio, MPhil Sports Physiotherapy) is a physiotherapist with a Masters degree in Sports Physiotherapy from the Institute of Sports Science and University of Cape Town, South Africa. She graduated both her honours and Masters degrees Cum Laude, and with Deans awards. After graduating in 2000 Kathryn worked in sports practices focusing on musculoskeletal injuries and rehabilitation. She was contracted to work with the Dolphins Cricket team (county/provincial team) and The Sharks rugby teams (Super rugby). Kathryn has also worked and supervised physios at the annual Comrades Marathon and Amashova cycle races for many years. She has worked with elite athletes from different sporting disciplines such as hockey, athletics, swimming and tennis. She was a competitive athlete holding national and provincial colours for swimming, biathlon, athletics, and surf lifesaving, and has a passion for sports and exercise physiology. She has presented research at the annual American College of Sports Medicine congress in Baltimore, and at The South African Sports Medicine Association in 2000 and 2011. She is Co-Kinetic’s technical editor and has taken on responsibility for writing our new clinical review updates for practitioners.
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