Get in shape for hiking - get strong! Looks at the importance of basic strength for hiking backpacking and hillwalking
Should hikers stretch? looks at why stretching as a warm up is not necessarily a great idea
Both link in to themes that I've explored on this blog but both are intended to arouse interest in my book Hillfit:Strength.
Thinking about stretching, Jamie Scott helpfully pointed me towards an interesting new review of static stretching and its impact on performance.
We applied a meta-analytical approach to derive a robust estimate of the acute effects of pre-exercise static stretching (SS) on strength, power, and explosive muscular performance. A computerized search of articles published between 1966 and December 2010 was performed using PubMed, SCOPUS, and Web of Science databases. A total of 104 studies yielding 61 data points for strength, 12 data points for power, and 57 data points for explosive performance met our inclusion criteria. The pooled estimate of the acute effects of SS on strength, power, and explosive performance, expressed in standardized units as well as in percentages, were -0.10 [95% confidence interval (CI): -0.15 to -0.04], -0.04 (95% CI: -0.16 to 0.08), and -0.03 (95% CI: -0.07 to 0.01), or -5.4% (95% CI: -6.6% to -4.2%), -1.9% (95% CI: -4.0% to 0.2%), and -2.0% (95% CI: -2.8% to -1.3%). These effects were not related to subject's age, gender, or fitness level; however, they were more pronounced in isometric vs dynamic tests, and were related to the total duration of stretch, with the smallest negative acute effects being observed with stretch duration of ≤45 s. We conclude that the usage of SS as the sole activity during warm-up routine should generally be avoided.
Now not to be misunderstood - I am not against all stretching. However, he conclusion is clear and precise - static stretching as the only thing you do in a warm up is to be avoided.....