Dynamic Vs Static Stretches – which should I do?? (UPDATED)

by | Mar 12, 2022 | muscle tear, strecthing

All sports involve some component of stretching. The act of stretching in sports injury rehabilitation is done to keep muscles active, avoiding injury and increasing the blood flow. Many individuals are confused however about which form of stretching should be done.

Importance of stretching

The importance of stretching, with the array of benefits it offers, must never be undermined. Sheddon Physio Oakville outlines some of the health and fitness benefits you can enjoy:

1. Relaxation: Stretching is considered a natural stress reliever as it cools and relaxes the body after a high-intensity workout. It also lowers blood pressure, while improving arterial functions.
2. Improves flexibility: Your body’s flexibility is the extent to which your muscles expand and lengthen. As the body ages, the muscles become tighter and more rigid, reducing flexibility significantly. That is why an older individual may become more susceptible to injuries. To avoid this, it is always recommended to stretch out the muscles to maintain and improve flexibility.
3. Improves circulation: When you stretch, blood flows into the muscles, nourishing them and cleansing the muscle tissue of waste byproducts.
4. Decrease pain: Regular stretching can help relieve pain in several muscles including the hamstring, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back, and more.

When to stretch

For the most efficient results, a proper stretching regimen should be undertaken at least three times a week. Apart from this, it is imperative to stretch before and after a workout, activity or sport.

Dynamic mobility (dynamic stretches)

Dynamic mobility helps prevent injury pre-activity and prepares your body to move more safely through range of motion and can help generate power. You simply can’t get the job done by performing static stretches alone.

Static stretching basically relaxes and turns off your muscles, which when you think about it is counter intuitive. When you are prepping for a workout or sport you want your muscles to be activated, not relaxed. By performing a dynamic stretching routine, you are going to wake up your muscles and increase activation.

Athletes often develop tightness because of the repetitive movements that make up their sport. Sport-specific stretching can be done to help balance out the strength and flexibility issues they’ve developed from these repetitive movements.

The dynamic form of stretching is an active stretch (vs the passive stretch of a static hold) that helps use the stretch reflex of the muscle to better increase explosive power (plyometrics) and strength for jumping sports such as gymnastics, basketball, and volleyball.

The purpose of plyometrics is basically to quickly stretch a muscle then contract it right away in order to utilise the muscles reflexive response to the stretch.

Dynamic Flexibility Exercises
You will get a great return on your time invested in dynamic flexibility exercises.
Taking just 5 to 10 minutes a day to perform dynamic exercises before you workout will increase your sport specific strength along with.

Static Flexibility (static stretches)

Stretches for sports injury rehab Sheddon Physio Sports Clinic
Stretches for sports injury rehab Sheddon Physio Sports Clinic

This is the form of stretches that are most commonly done by athletes. It involves holding a position for a longer period of time (generally from 30 seconds to a minute or two).

The purpose of this activity is to increase the length of the tissue. This is best done at the end of the activity as its job is to help relax the muscles and passively lengthen the tissue by increasing its elasticity and improving blood flow. A limited range of motion can compromise your skills or affect your ability to accelerate, change direction and affect your jump height. Static stretches performed prior to the activity can lead to uncoordinated muscle activity and decreased power output.

Static Flexibility Exercises

Tips for stretching H2
Now that you have the rundown on the best dynamic and static stretches for your body, let us give you some tips to ensure you get the most out of your stretching regimen.
1. Warm up: Make your muscle warm and limber through some light cardio before you begin stretching to avoid injury.
2. Breathe: Always breathe comfortably into a stretch instead of holding your breath.
3. Be gentle: Do not be rigorous during your stretching session. Instead be gentle and fluid, letting your body lead the way. This avoids injuries as well as promotes better flexibility.
4. Consistency: Once you begin your stretching sessions, be consistent with them for the best results. It is recommended to at least stretch 3 to 5 times a week. Commitment is important and sticking to a regular plan can help you build flexibility and power.
For more information on dynamic and static stretches and how they can improve your overall health and well-being, contact sports injury rehabilitation experts at Sheddon Physio Oakville today!

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