Sunday, October 4, 2015

Static vs. dynamic stretching

What is dynamic stretching? Is it better then the static stretching that has been used for so many years?

Static vs. dynamic stretching


The newest buzz word on the field is dynamic stretching. I have seen many variations of this—some correct, some incorrect. Some people have taken to static stretching, bouncing a little bit and calling it dynamic stretching. Others are just flat out running and skipping and calling that dynamic stretching.

But what is dynamic stretching? Is it better than the static stretching that has been used for so many years?

First let me start by saying that static stretching, where you hold a position for more than 30 seconds in order to elongate the muscle, is still safe. In fact, it should be done AFTER the activity. These types of stretches are designed to target the muscle groups, one at a time and to lengthen them, not necessarily to do anything else. Once you have completed your sport, run, workout, it is good to go through some gentle stretches where you hold a position for 30 seconds or more, stretching a number of different muscle groups.

These stretches at the end of the workout have still been shown to improve your muscle interactions and should be done to maintain range of motion and keep the muscle tissue healthy. Static stretching is exactly what the name implies. Therefore, the end of the activity—when you are ready to slow down and become static and stationary— is the best time to perform those stretches.

More coverage
10 ways to get better results from training
HIIT the gym with this exercise routine
Don't let winter put your workout routine in a deep freeze
5 stability ball exercises to do at home
Foam rolling: It can save you from pain

Dynamic stretching on the other hand is active stretching, stretching during controlled movements. It is not bouncing or ballistic stretching. Do not take a previously static stretch and turn it into a dynamic stretch by bouncing. Dynamic stretches are different and require movement but controlled movement. Performing dynamic stretching properly can have a significant benefit to your athletic performance.

Dynamic stretching is able to accomplish many things. It is able to increase blood flow, increase the range of motion, increase your awareness of your joint position, and improve your athletic performance. That is why you see everyone from amateur athletes to the NFL and NBA performing it. It has become a necessary part of warm up.  

Dynamic stretches focuses on many different muscle groups at one time. It is thorough movement—your arms and legs can perform different movements and warm up simultaneously. If these are performed correctly, you should still feel a nice stretch but you should also feel your heart rate gently start to rise as the blood flow is beginning to increase to all parts of the body.

Shown in the video are a few dynamic stretches that can get you warmed up for any activity. The video only shows a few options, and depending on your sport there are other, more specific stretches that can be incorporated. The key is to have a slow controlled motion through the range of motion, nothing too fast. The stretches shown in the video are designed to hit the major muscle groups and encompass all sporting activities.  

Dynamic stretching to warm up the arms, back and legs are becoming a ‘must’ prior to competition. Add these in before your next athletic performance and you may wind up with better results.

Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.

Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales and Hatfield, PA
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an aging baby boomer, a student athlete or just someone who wants to stay active, this blog is for you. Read about our growing list of expert contributors here.

Tracey Romero Sports Medicine Editor,
J. Ryan Bair, PT, DPT, SCS Founder and Owner of FLASH Sports Physical Therapy, Board Certified in Sports Physical Therapy
Brian Cammarota, MEd, ATC, CSCS, CES Partner at Symetrix Sports Performance
Ellen Casey, MD Physician with Drexel University Sports Medicine
Desirea D. Caucci, PT, DPT, OCS Co-owner of Conshohocken Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist
Michael G. Ciccotti, M.D. Head Team Physician for Phillies & St. Joe's; Rothman Institute
Julie Coté, PT, MPT, OCS, COMT Magee Rehabilitation Hospital
Peter F. DeLuca, M.D. Head Team Physician for Eagles, Head Orthopedic Surgeon for Flyers; Rothman Institute
Joel H. Fish, Ph.D. Director of The Center For Sport Psychology; Sports Psychology Consultant for 76ers & Flyers
R. Robert Franks, D.O. Team Physician for USA Wrestling, Consultant for Phillies; Rothman Institute
Ashley B. Greenblatt, ACE-CPT Certified Personal Trainer, The Sporting Club at The Bellevue
Brian Maher, BS, CSCS Owner, Philly Personal Training
Julia Mayberry, M.D. Attending Hand & Upper Extremity Surgeon, Main Line Hand Surgery P.C.
Gavin McKay, NASM-CPT Founder/Franchisor, Unite Fitness
Heather Moore, PT, DPT, CKTP Owner of Total Performance Physical Therapy, North Wales and Hatfield, PA
Justin Shaginaw, MPT, ATC Athletic Trainer for US Soccer Federation; Aria 3B Orthopaedic Institute
Thomas Trojian MD, CAQSM, FACSM Associate Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine at Drexel University
Justin D'Ancona
Robert Senior Event coverage, Sports Doc contributor
Latest Videos
Also on
letter icon Newsletter