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An Examination of Preactivity and Postactivity Stretching Practices of NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, and NCAA Division III Track and Field Throws Programs

Judge, Lawrence W.1; Bellar, David M.2; Gilreath, Erin L.3; Petersen, Jeffrey C.4; Craig, Bruce W.1; Popp, Jennifer K.1; Hindawi, Omar S.5; Simon, Laura S.1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: October 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 10 - p 2691–2699
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318280c9ac
Original Research

Abstract: Judge, LW, Bellar, DM, Gilreath, EL, Petersen JC, Craig, BW, Popp, JK, Hindawi, OS, and Simon, LS. An examination of preactivity and postactivity stretching practices of NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, and NCAA Division III track and field throws programs. J Strength Cond Res 27(10): 2691–2699, 2013—The purpose of this study is to determine the pre- and postactivity stretching practices of Division I, II, and III track and field throws programs. A 33-item survey instrument was developed to collect data regarding the warm-up and flexibility practices at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I (n = 320), Division II (n = 175), and Division III (n = 275) universities. A total of 135 surveys were completed for a 17.5% return rate, and although the response rate was generally low, it did mirror the distribution percentages of the 3 divisions. Significant differences were found for the level of United States Track and Field (USATF) certification and the use of static stretching (SS) between throws (χ2 = 6.333, p = 0.048). Significance was also found for the USATF certification level and athletic trainer (AT) assistance in performing SS (χ2 = 13.598, p = 0.01). Significant differences were also found for the NCAA division levels and the use of soft tissue mobilization (χ2 = 5.913, p = 0.026). Although research supports dynamic warm-up/stretching over other forms of preactivity protocols, it seems that some track-and-field throws coaches are reluctant to completely discontinue preactivity SS. The results of this study suggest that it is necessary for track and field throws coaches to reevaluate their own practices, perhaps better aligning them with current research findings.

1Human Performance Laboratory, School of Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Science, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

2Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, Texas

3Department of Kinesiology, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana

4Department of Recreation and Sport Management, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, Indiana

5Department of Sport Rehabilitation, Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan

Address correspondence to Dr. Lawrence W. Judge, lwjudge@bsu.edu.

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.