What Are The Different Types Of Stretching?

Dynamic Vs Static Stretches

Whether you are a professional runner, novice weight lifter or you participate in any kind of sports/fitness/physical activity at any level, you want to make sure that you perform at your best and lower the incidence of pre and post-event injury. This is where warm-up exercises come into play; and stretching exercises (both active and static) in particular are a very effective way to optimise performance, reduce soreness, and help you recover faster. When used at the right time and in the right way, stretching exercises (both static and dynamic) can have a massive impact on improving performance and minimising the chance of injuries. But, how do you know which exercise is right for you? Here is some handy information about dynamic vs. static stretches to help you decide what’s right for you:

Dynamic vs. Static Stretches

Most athletes realise the importance of warm up exercises and how different types of stretching play their role in increasing range of motion and flexibility, promoting fluid movement during athletic performance, decreasing soreness and minimising injury.  These stretching exercises are recommended by many health prefessionals both pre and post-activity as a means for warm-up and cool-down. However, they need to be performed based on individual needs and the physical demand of your sports/physical activity in order to achieve maximum benefits. Therefore, it is very important to learn the difference between dynamic vs. static stretches in order to find out what’s right for you.

Dynamic Stretches

Dynamic stretching involves using gentle and controlled movements involving multiple muscle groups or joints to gradually increase your range of motion with successive repetitions. The goal of dynamic stretches is to prime the body for optimal performance and safety prior to any physical activity or sports event. Examples of dynamic stretching exercises include:

  • bodyweight lunges
  • agility drills
  • trunk rotations
  • skipping rope
  • sprints
  • shuttle runs
  • jogging
  • butt kicks
  • high knees

Depending on your physical health and the type of physical/sports activity you are participating in, the type, duration, movement, and repetitions of dynamic stretches may vary. 

Static Stretches

As the name suggests, static stretches are those that involve stretching isolated muscles or muscle groups to the point of slight discomfort and holding the stretch for a few seconds (usually 15-45 seconds). The basic goal of performing static stretches is to make the muscle more pliable, release tension, and make them less susceptible to strains and injury. Examples of static stretching exercises include:

  • hamstring stretch
  • posterior capsule stretch
  • quadriceps stretch
  • triceps stretches
  • butterfly stretch

The main difference between dynamic and static stretches is the dynamic stretches are not held for any length of time, rather they are performed repetitively. Dynamic stretches are perfect before participating in a workout or a sports event. Now that you know a bit more about dynamic vs. static stretches, make sure to include these an integral part of your daily and weekly fitness routine.

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