Do you need to warm up before you take the first shot at the basketball hoop?

All most kids want to do is get out and take some shots at the basketball goal – make some hoops, run and beat their friends in a friendly game.

But here come the adults with their ideas about “warming up” and stretching before engaging in any sports activity. Adults sigh, kids groan. They just want to play – and – in the end is that ok?

Here at the Basketball Goal Store, we make available the best in in-ground basketball goals – the Goalrilla Basketball Goals – we don’t advise on the physiology of the game.

But I can’t resist bringing up the controversy. I haven’t seen any real resolution since the 2008 study at the University of Oklahoma and the Australian study that both pretty much reported that dynamic stretching was more beneficial than static stretching. The NY Times published an article and the controversy was fueled.

First, what is static stretching and dynamic stretching?

  • Static stretching means that once you get in a position you hold it without moving.
  • Dynamic stretching means that you move while in a stretching position – think arm swings, neck or knee rotations.

Even though science has moved on from the days of gym teachers getting everyone “warmed up” most people who aren’t serious athletes haven’t really paid attention to the new studies and reports.

I did read one blog and another article in which the authors brought a common-sense approach to the whole debate.

One person said it shouldn’t be called stretching at all, but “checking.” Because with the movements we make prior to engaging in some sports activity we are really “checking” to see if our bodies are primed to move.

The other author noted that a sleeping cat or other animal doesn’t get up and stretch prior to taking off to escape a danger or chase prey. Likewise, police and military personnel don’t make situations wait so they can “get warmed up.” He asks if the same isn’t true for athletes.

Likewise, when kids wake and take off running through the day, they don’t say, “Wait, we have to warm up – I might strain something.” To me, it’s just like parents admonishing kids not to eat too much or run after eating because they’ll upset their stomachs and throw up – it’s not the kids who have those problems, it’s the adults with their acid reflux, overeating and lack of regular exercise.

So, adjust the height on the Goalrilla Basketball Goal at your house so it’s appropriate for the size of the kids and let them run and shoot and dribble to their hearts content. Be happy they’re out there on the court playing with their friends – and building good life habits.

-Pat of the Basketball Goal Store Blog Team

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