Today I want to talk a little bit about stretching, specifically dynamic stretching and static stretching.
Just to clarify the difference, static stretching is long holds, for example where you would bend down and touch your toes for an extended period of time. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is more what you see in sports performance, where you stretch just for one or two seconds, then you move. It’s not a constant stretch, it has more movement with it.
So, what are the benefits of each, and when should you use each one? Static stretching is good if you’re really trying to promote long-term gains and flexibility. Dynamic stretching is more for the pre-play or pre-activity process. If you’re going to the gym just to fit a good workout into your busy schedule, you still want to do a dynamic stretching routine prior to jumping onto the treadmill, elliptical, doing exercises, etc. After your workout, cardio exercises, weight lifting, or whatever you’re doing, that’s when you want to do more of a static stretching routine before you get in the car and go home.
This rule is pretty much the same for athletes. If you really pay attention to what the professional organizations are doing, you will never see athletes doing static stretches prior to their event. For example, track athletes, will never static stretch prior to running the 100-meter dash because if they do, their performance will be severely decreased. The reason for this is because a static stretch can actually make you too flexible and lose that elastic response to the muscle which can be a great boost or performance enhancement.
Try out both stretches at home and see what happens. You’ll see what I mean.
I’ve included a little challenge we’re running here but inside, we have some of our demo warm-ups that you can do both inside and outside. So, go ahead and put your details in if you want to see some of what we do here. We have stuff you can do in a small apartment, a large gym, or a track and field area. At the moment, the demos are more on the dynamic stretching side of things, but we will be releasing examples of static stretches in the near future too.
Want to join a stretching community, check out one of my favorite local yoga shops here. We also now offer a weekly mobility class here right at Live Athletics with Kaleide.