Pre- and Post-Activity Stretching Practices of Collegiate Athletic Trainers in the United States

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Abstract

Popp, JK, Bellar, DM, Hoover, DL, Craig, BW, Leitzelar, BN, Wanless, EA, and Judge, LW. Pre- and post-activity stretching practices of collegiate athletic trainers in the United States. J Strength Cond Res 31(9): 2347–2354, 2017—The aim of the study was to investigate the knowledge and practices of collegiate-certified athletic trainers (ATs) in the United States. Participants (n = 521) were provided an overview of the study and a hyperlink to a web-based survey. The “pre- and post-activity practices in athletic training questionnaire” consisted of demographic items and elements to measure knowledge and practices related to pre- and post-activity stretching routines. In previous studies, the survey demonstrated construct validity, α = 0.722. Pearson chi-square test was used to evaluate goodness of fit, and kappa was calculated to measure agreement between items. Only 32.2% of ATs recommended dynamic stretching (DS) to be performed pre-activity, whereas a larger percentage (42.2%) recommended a combination of static stretching (SS) and DS. Athletic trainers reported that only 28.0% of athletes are performing DS before activity. Conversely, 60.6% of collegiate ATs recommended SS postexercise, and 61.0% of athletes agree and perform after workout SS (κ = 0.761, p < 0.001). Collegiate ATs seem to underuse the current research evidence, which indicates that DS is more beneficial than SS when used pre-activity, and ATs continue to regularly incorporate SS in their pre-activity routines. However, there is evidence that collegiate ATs in the United States emphasize SS postactivity in a manner consistent with current research.

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