Dynamic Stretching vs. Static Stretching

I hope you already know that you should start and end your workout with stretching. Having flexible limbs feels good and it’s essential for your health and to avoid any possible injuries. Dynamic and static stretching are two ways in which you can prepare yourself for a vigorous workout, work on your flexibility and help your body to recover after the training session. Here are the differences between these 2 stretching techniques.

Dynamic stretching

Though this is a technique often used by athletes, you shouldn’t ignore it. Dynamic stretches will help you improve your flexibility, loosen up your joints and muscles and reduce the risk of injuries. These are recommended before your warm up or as an actual warm up routine. When you perform dynamic stretches you should repeatedly move your joints and muscles through a full range of motion. These stretches entail a lot of motion and are not necessarily deep stretches.

Some examples of dynamic stretches include:
  • Lunge with a twist
  • Knee to chest
  • High kicks
  • Hip stretch with a twist
  • Jump squats
  • Jump lunges

Still wondering why, you should include dynamic stretches into your workout? Here’s a few more reasons.
  • It activates your muscles for your workout
  • Will improve your range of motion.
  • You will be able to perform at your best capabilities during your workout

Static stretching

In comparison with dynamic stretches, where you have to be active, the static ones imply stretching your muscles and holding the position with no movement for a period of time. You know you’ve done your stretches correctly when you stretch to a point where you feel a slight discomfort (don’t confuse this with pain).

The best time to include static stretches into your workout routine, is at the end. It will help your muscles to cool down, relieve any tension from the exercises you’ve performed, and improve the blood flow through your muscles, helping with the post workout recovery process. Avoid static stretching before your workout, as these will loosen the muscles and this is not what you are looking for before training, especially if you are going for a strength workout.

Here are all the reasons you need to include this stretching technique into your workout:
  • Will help you relief any cramping you might have after your workout
  • Will improve your range of motion
  • Decreases the probability of getting injured
  • Speeds up the recovery process
  • Decrease in delayed-onset muscle soreness

While you perform these stretches you should make sure that you feel some discomfort but no pain; you use smooth and slow movements; don’t forget to breathe in order to relieve the stress and tension from your body and to be able to keep the movement for longer; and start slowly with a few exercises and build up your routine once you are more flexible. Here are a few stretches you can include at the end of your workout:
  • Overhead triceps stretch
  • Biceps stretch
  • Cobra pose
  • Seated butterfly stretch
  • Head-to-knee forward bend

I hope this article will help you with your stretching routine, and you now know when and how to perform the dynamic and static stretches. If you would like a demo of some stretches or a full fitness evaluation, feel free to contact me and I can set up some appointments to get you started with a new exercise program designed just for you!
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