Dynamic vs. Static Stretching


Dynamic vs. Static Stretching

A proper warm-up prepares an athlete for practice or competition and decreases the risk of injury.

An ideal warm-up is specific to the sport or activity, with stretching as is an integral part of any warm-up.

There are two specific types of stretching that one can do: static stretching and dynamic stretching, but the question remains, which type of stretching is best to do before and which would be more beneficial post-exercise/competition?

1. Static stretching requires no voluntary muscular activity.  An external force such as gravity or a partner provides the force to stretch. Static stretching consists of a slow, constant stretch with the end position held for at least 30 sec.

2. Dynamic stretching requires voluntary muscular action, and involves flexibility during sport-specific movements.  Dynamic stretching is like ballistic movements in that it utilizes speed of movement, but avoids bouncing.

Studies have shown that an optimal warm up involves submaximal intensity aerobic activity, large amplitude dynamic stretching, and sport specific dynamic activities.

Studies have also shown that static stretching aids in lengthening the muscles; However, this may be detrimental immediately prior to an event by causing injury or overall poor performance.

As a result, studies have shown that all athletes should include dynamic stretching prior to activity and static stretching post-performance to their overall fitness and wellness for the health and functional benefits associated with increased mobility.

For specific/specialized warmups to your sport or activity, come visit UBE physical therapists and trainers!

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