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The Difference Between Static and Dynamic Stretching

Did you know that there are two types of stretching?

The general guidance we usually receive when it comes to exercising, is to always stretch before working out. However, what stretches do you need to be doing? Are there stretches that are going to hinder your session and cause more potential for injury, rather than help to warm up and prepare for it?

Today we’re going to be talking about different types of stretching, particularly the difference between static and dynamic stretching. Overall, stretching can help with improving your range of motion and warming the body up, but it’s important to note the differences between two types, and what each is most beneficial for.

What is static stretching?

As the key word ‘static’ suggests, these types of stretches lack movement and action, instead holding a specific position for a period of time. These types of stretches are used to help improve flexibility, and should be used as part of your cool down routine in order to prevent injury afterwards.

Static stretches include examples like hamstring stretches and quadriceps stretches.

What is dynamic stretching?

If you’re looking for stretches that are going to help with warming up specifically, then you need to be engaging in dynamic stretches. These functional movements help to increase movement and decrease any muscle stiffness, ensuring that you are properly warmed up and minimising the risk of injury.

Dynamic stretches include movements such as lunges, bodyweight squats, ankle hops, and leg swings.

Why does it matter?

The key difference between these two types of stretches is that one is for warming up, and one is for cooling down. You don’t want to mix them up otherwise you will be putting your body at an increased risk of injury, contradicting the entire purpose of stretching in the first place.

Once you have warmed up with dynamic stretches, there is the opportunity to improve your flexibility and overall range of motion with static movements. But the main thing to take away is that if you’re looking to warm your body up before engaging in a workout/sport, you should always aim to be doing dynamic movements!

Next time you’re looking to work out, think about this key difference. If you would like some further information/advice, in some circumstances we can provide you with additional exercises to complete at home to help with your overall range of motion and movements.

For more information on how we can help you, visit our website or make an appointment today!

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