Friday, January 15, 2021

Static vs Dynamic Stretching.

I'm the one who when I stretch, I pull out a DVD and follow it.  I don't have any idea if I'm doing a static or dynamic stretch but I know it can make a difference.  So if I don't know, there are others who might not know.  Stretching in and of itself is important to improving flexibility, 

Dynamic stretching is defined as a series of controlled movements that prepare your soft tissues, muscles, and ligaments for performance.  These should be included as part of your warm-up before exercising or participating in an athletic event.

Dynamic stretching can improve speed, agility, and acceleration because it involves actively tightening muscles while moving all your joints through their full range of motion.  In the process, the movements raise the temperature of muscles and decrease stiffness at the same time. Examples of dynamic stretches include torso twists, walking lunges, and leg swings. Another way of describing dynamic stretching is an active warm-up because one is moving.  The active movement helps warm-up the muscles so they are ready for movement. Sometimes, dynamic stretches might consist of a series of sports specific drills such as shuttle runs. 

There is research indicating that doing a dynamic stretch before participating in an athletic event can improve performance significantly.  If one does not participate in events regularly, carrying out some sort of dynamic stretch prior to even exercising helps to optimize performance and improve results. Furthermore, due to the way dynamic stretching works the body, it helps decrease the possibility of injury.

On the other hand, static stretching is where one holds a position for up to 45 seconds without moving and it should be part of a cool down.  Actually, in static stretching a person will take a muscle to the end of it's range and holds it there for up between 20 and 45 seconds and repeat for 2 to 3 times.  Static stretching also  reduces the chance of injury while increasing a person's flexibility by helping muscles release tension, increasing muscle flexibility, . Examples of static stretches include hamstring stretches,  touching your toes, and quadricep stretch.  

There is some controversy concerning static stretching.  There is research to indicate that it should never be done as part of the warm-up because it can actually decrease muscle performance.  Some people are totally against it but there is also evidence that it improves flexibility and mobility.  Consequently, some people are now suggesting the use of static stretching followed by dynamic stretching for athletes before participating in sports.

As for me?  I realize that I go after exercise routines that have dynamic stretching at the beginning of the workout with static stretches at the end.  So I am doing it in the correct order.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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