When it comes to working out and getting in great shape we spend a ton of time on the best types of workouts and nutrition that will get us to our goals but often overlook one of the most important aspects. Injury prevention and warming up properly!
I can tell you from first hand experience that having even a 5-10 minute stretching routine before your workout will drastically speed up your results. Not only will you increase your blood flow to all of the major muscles in your body, but you will get your ligaments and tendons loose which will prevent injury. You will also notice a difference in your performance as the more loose and flexible you are when you start the workout the more intensity you are likely to train with.
This article is going to dive into the difference between dynamic vs static stretching routines so you can choose the best style of stretching to prevent injuries and maximize performance.
What is the difference between Dynamic Stretching and Static Stretching?
Dynamic stretching means that your body is moving throughout the entire duration of the stretching routine and will incorporate a lot more muscle groups at once than static stretching. For example, one could stretch their hamstrings with a static stretch by touching your toes and holding the position for 10 seconds with your legs straight.
The dynamic stretch for your hamstrings would entail you kicking out your leg while you are walking in a straight line and trying to get your toe as high up in the air as you can. Dynamic stretching is an “active” stretch whereas a static stretch is well… static.
The main point to make is that dynamic stretching means that you are stretching out while your body is continuously moving and in motion. There are no static hold positions – as this forms the basis for static stretching.
One could even consider activities such as jogging in place, jump rope, hamstring kickbacks and high knees as forms of dynamic stretching.
Why Dynamic Stretching is Better than Static Stretching Pre Workout
Dynamic stretching is a lot better than static stretching because it gets your entire body loose and ready to perform optimally since you are forced to move your body throughout the stretching routine. Holding static stretch positions will not mentally or physically prepare you for the upcoming workout or sport that lies ahead as effectively as dynamic stretching.
I love to perform dynamic stretching because I feel like my entire body is loose and ready to perform immediately after. If i just go in and perform static stretches I still feel tight and stiff. I always feel the need to do some light jogging or biking if i only perform static stretches.
Dynamic stretching essentially kills 2 birds with 1 stone. You get your entire body loose and breaking a sweat as if you were performing a cardio session, but you also get the added benefit of stretching all of the major muscles in your body.
Dynamic stretching also helps to improve the range of motion of your joints. This becomes crucial when you exert maximum force during injury prone exercises such as the squat, dead lift and any olympic style lifts. The more range of motion your joints possess the lesser the chance of injury during training or a sport.
You should perform a dynamic stretching routine for 5-10 minutes before any weight training or cardio session. Not only will this reduce the risk of injury but it will speed up your results by maximizing your flexibility, increasing the range of motion of your joints and mentally prepare you for the workout that lies ahead.
Lifting weights can make you stiff and rigid so its vital that you incorporate a short dynamic stretching routine before each workout for maximum results.
Try out this dynamic stretching routine before all of your workouts!
Post Workout Stretches
Now that we understand that dynamic stretching is the best approach before a workout, what about static stretching?
Well, research has shown static stretching is more effective post workout than dynamic stretching. While dynamic stretching is more effect before working out than static stretching. So don’t write off static stretching just yet. Finish off your workouts with 5-10 minutes of static stretching.
By including dynamic stretching before your workout and static stretching after, you’ll increase your range of motion, have a more effective workout, and prevent injury.
What are some of your favorite dynamic and static stretches that you do before and after your workout?