Static stretching

Does static stretching prevent injuries?

We’ve all heard someone tell us to stretch before running or playing a sport to reduce the risk of injury. But is touching your toes or pulling your heel to your butt really enough to reduce your risk of pulling a hamstring or quad muscle while running or playing a sport? The quick answer is NO. 

What does stretching do:

The rationale behind static stretching is that it should increase flexibility and reduce stiffness of a muscle which will therefore prevent it from being “pulled”. But the overwhelming research shows that stretching muscles before running or playing a sport does not decrease your risk of injury. This is because stretching before running or playing a sport does not change the visoelastic properties of the muscle; which is the elastic property that allows muscles to become more flexible and remain flexible for a long period of time.1  You might feel the stretch while you perform it and the muscle may even warm up because you are elongating it, but this effect does not last after you finish doing it. Additionally, it is important to note that increasing flexibility of a muscle does not necessarily decrease your risk of injury. Limited research studies do suggest that a stretching program performed everyday over a long period of time can increase the flexibility of muscles by increasing their visoelastic properties2 and this MAY decrease the incidence of muscular injuries but not tendon, ligament, or bone injuries. However, the consensus behind the research is conflicting.

What’s the best way to warm-up to prevent injuries?

The best way to warm-up prior to running or playing a sport is to mimic the requirements of the activity you are about to perform. This includes increasing blood flow to muscles, going through full range of motion of joints (dynamic stretch), activating the muscles required, and performing at the same speed and intensity that you will be performing in your sport. Research shows that a neuromuscular warm up performed prior to engaging in running and sports has shown to decrease the incidence of lower body injuries.We recommend different neuromuscular warm up strategies based on the type of sport someone is participating in and his or her history of injury. A tennis player and soccer player will have a different warm up approach based on the diverse movement patterns and muscles required for his or her sport. 

Neuromuscular warm up4

  • 1. Neuromuscular control and balance
  • Warming up and activating muscles: increasing blood flow to the target muscles and doing exercises that activate muscle fibres 
  • Coordination: performing multi-joint movements that mimic sport
  • Balance: ability to maintain your equilibrium in response to perturbations 
  • 2. Core stability:
  • Stability and coordination of the muscles of abdomen, pelvis, back and hips while you run or perform sport related movements 
  • 3. Plyometrics and Agility:
  • Plyometrics: generating the most amount of force in the shortest period of time
  • Agility: ability to quickly change the body’s positioning 
Warm up strategyHow it relates to soccer
Warming up and activating musclesDynamically stretching and activating the quads, hamstrings, groins, calves
Coordination & Balance & Core stabilityDribbling the soccer ball with a defender on you, standing on one leg while kicking a ball with the other leg
Plyometrics & Agility Sprinting, cutting 


1 McHugh, M. P., & Cosgrave, C. H. (2010). To stretch or not to stretch: the role of stretching in injury prevention and performance. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 20(2), 169-181. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01058.x

Woods, K., Bishop, P., & Jones, E. (2007). Warm-up and stretching in the prevention of muscular injury. Sports Medicine, 37(12), 1089-1099.

3 Herman, K., Barton, C., Malliaras, P., & Morrissey, D. (2012). The effectiveness of neuromuscular warm-up strategies, that require no additional equipment, for preventing lower limb injuries during sports participation: a systematic review. BMC Medicine, 10, 75.

4 F-MARC Football for Health FIFA. The “11+” Manual.

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Thomas Lalonde

Doctorate of Chiropractic

Dr. Thomas Lalonde is a Chiropractor with nearly a decade of experience in the Fitness/Rehab Industry. He holds a Diploma in Fitness and Health Promotion with honours from Humber college, a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours from Brock University, and a Doctorate of Chiropractic from The Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.

Dr. Lalonde has an extensive background in treating sport injuries, specifically specializing in Golf Performance Therapy. In 2021, he traveled with the Toronto Players Tour as their Head Therapist, He took on the role of Head Performance Therapist for an Ontario based Golf Program and  continues to serve as the Head Therapist for the Osprey Valley Open on the PGA Tour Canada.

Throughout his education, Dr. Lalonde has spent time furthering his knowledge and is also Certified in Integrated Needling Acupuncture, Integrated Assessment + Integrated Patterning, Titleist Performance Institute, Active Release Technique as well as, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization. He is also one of the Lead Instructors for Integrated Seminar Series – an innovative, evidence-informed courseware in mobility, movement patterning, rehabilitation, and Acupuncture for other healthcare providers taught around the world.

  • Doctor of Chiropractic
  • Bachelor of Kinesiology with Honours
  • Diploma of Fitness & Health Promotion
  • Integrated Needling Acupuncture Certified
  • Integrated Assessment
  • Integrated Patterning
  • Lead Instructor for Integrated Seminar Series
  • Titleist Performance Institute Level 1&2 Medical
  • Active Release Technique
  • Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization A&B
  • Certified Personal Trainer

Riley Dane

RMT, Hons. BA Kin

I started out in this field because I was inspired by the care and sports rehab that I received when I was an athlete. From competitive gymnastics to soccer to varsity track and field, I’ve been in and out of my fair share of clinics!

I have a passion for helping people return to doing what they love. Whether that be sports, recreational activity, or returning to a pain-free everyday life. I want to work as a team with each individual to create a treatment that fits their mental and physical needs. I believe that exercise and activity is an essential component of wellbeing and want my clients to be able to engage in these activities without compromise.

Education-wise I went to Western (GO STANGS!) for my undergrad, earning a Honours Bachelor of Arts with Specialization in Kinesiology and followed that with a Diploma of Massage Therapy from Sutherland-Chan.

In my spare time, I like to lift weights, read, play volleyball and spend time with family. I’m a huge sports fan, especially the Leafs, Raps and Jays!