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Thursday, June 13, 2013
Why Bruce Arians' approach is no stretch

By Mike Sando

Give coach Bruce Arians credit for producing the NFC West's quote of the day, at least so far, when asked why his team has scrapped its stretching period before practices.

"I know this," Arians told reporters, "if a guy starts chasing you with a gun, you’re not going to stretch."

Arians expects players to loosen up on their own before practicing.

Research increasingly suggests traditional static stretching exercises -- holding a pose for 30 seconds or longer, for example -- impair performance without protecting athletes from injury. The New York Times recently cited multiple studies undermining traditional thinking.

"A better choice," the New York Times piece said, paraphrasing a doctor, "is to warm up dynamically, by moving the muscles that will be called upon in your workout. Jumping jacks and toy-soldier-like high leg kicks, for instance, prepare muscles for additional exercise better than stretching."