Static vs Dynamic Stretching: Which One to Choose?

Any fitness specialist would tell you the relevance of warming up before you start your workouts or other physical activities. Stretching may involve elongating a muscle for a specific time or performing an exercise without weights for minimum time. For the professional athletes, stretching is the number one warm up activity that helps to enhance their performance.
Well, it isn’t just meant for the athletes, but anyone can stretch time and again to stay fit and healthy. Starting your workout without stretching is not just dangerous but can also limit your optimum muscle building capabilities.

Speaking of stretching, there are two major techniques namely Static vs Dynamic Stretching. Both have their own importance, and if done at proper times can promote and speed up the muscle building process. Both static and dynamic stretches can help you perform workouts better and increase recovery which in turn helps you build muscle faster.
Over the years, there has been a static and dynamic stretching debate about which is the best, and which is more effective. You may like others have a question like what is the difference between static and dynamic stretching? Here is a guide to help you understand more about each type of stretching.

Dynamic Stretching vs Static Stretching

Static vs Dynamic Stretching

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Static Stretching

dynamic stretching vs static stretching

In this type of stretching, you will stretch your muscles until you experience a slight discomfort. However, you should not feel any pain at this point. As you stretch your muscles, you will hold that position for 15 to 30 seconds before changing. Do it in three to five reps for an effective warm up.
This is my favorite stretching technique since it promotes flexibility, and it is one stretch that will deliver some instant effects to your muscles. The seated hamstring stretch and plank stretch are good examples of the statics stretches.
The basic goal of static stretching, both static vs dynamic stretching, is to bring back the blood supply to normal and cool down the muscle that was being worked upon. This in turn helps release tension and brings the body somewhat similar to the normal stage and helps you recover better from workouts. Thus we conclude that dynamic stretching directly leads to better and faster recovery, helping you reach your fitness goals faster.

Dynamic Stretching

static stretching vs dynamic stretching

A lot of professional athletes prefer dynamic stretching. Here, you will not hold your stretch for a while, but rather move muscles and joints repeatedly in different motions. It is perfect for the athletes because it limits the chances of injury. You will be moving your joints and muscles in a way that mimics a specific activity or sport when doing a dynamic stretch. Examples include arm circles, walking lunges, and high-knee marching.
The main goal of dynamic stretching is to prepare your muscles for the workout, making them flexible and less prone to injuries. If done properly, it can help relieve the stiffness in muscles and help you perform better in workouts. Thus, stretching before and after workout will definitely have a significant impact on your fitness goals.

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Advantages of Static Vs Dynamic Stretching

While they might seem different in how they are done, they are both beneficial to the body. Dynamic stretches are to be performed before the workout to increase muscle flexibility while static stretches are generally performed after workout after workout to cool down the muscles and bring back the body’s blood supply thus helping in faster recovery and growth. Perform them as suggested and you’re bound to see your flexibility go up. Lets see some of the benefits of dynamic stretching vs static stretching.

Benefits of Dynamic Stretching:

what is the difference between static and dynamic stretching

  • Maintains the core temperature of the muscles

The major benefit of dynamic stretching is that it helps to maintain the temperature of your muscles. It involves continuous moving, which then provides your muscles with the needed temperature. Dynamic stretches also help to make your muscles more powerful and elastic. The more the flexibility, the better your muscles perform in the workout. Since we know that dynamic stretches help you perform better in workouts, you’re bound to see better results in your goals compared to not stretching at all.

  • It prepares your muscles

The stretching technique will prepare your muscles for the forthcoming activity. The main reason for an athlete to warm up is to prepare the body for the activity ahead. Whether it is running, footballing, soccer, basketball, swimming, or whatever type of athletics, your body (muscles) must be well-prepared. Dynamic stretches help to prepare your body for the intensity of the forthcoming activity.

  • Reduces the risks of injury

Another function of dynamic stretches is that it helps to improve the motion range around the joints. In turn, this will limit the chances of over-training or getting injured during game time. When the motion range is enhanced, you will have more endurance, which equates to more play/activity time. This is one of the prime reasons why you should be stretching before workout. Even if the other benefits are not taken into account, reduced injuries can be the sole reason why yo should be incorporating dynamic stretches in your workout.

  • Your mind will be prepared as well

Did you know that the movement of your muscles and joints is connected to the brain? Of course, you did. So, when your mind senses that your joints and muscles are moving in different motions {active}, testosterone will be produced to generate the body with the needed energy. This in turns gives a signal to your body to prepare for the workout. Since we all are aware about the benefits of mind-muscle-connection, it is important to prepare your mind before the body for the workout through dynamic stretches.

Benefits of Statics Stretching

dynamic vs static stretching

Static stretching if often helpful when done after a tough workout. When you workout, your body temperature increase and blood is pumped into the working muscles. It is important to cool down and bring back the body’s temperature to normal after you’re done with the workout. This is where static stretches come into play and a good reason why athletes incorporate them in their routine.
Not to mean that dynamic stretches are only for the athletes, but static stretches tend to be less delicate. Here are the benefits;

  • They can be done anywhere

With static stretching, you will only stretch and hold your muscles for a while. There is no much movement, which means you can do it anywhere, including your bedroom, living room, or even outside. Since the idea is to mimic exercises, there’s no need for any equipment too. Even if there’s no gym available, you can stretch for 10-15 minutes in your home or an outdoor park.

  • Promotes relaxation

Since you will stretch your muscles gradually for a while, it will help to deliver a relaxation feeling after you are done. The body tends to cool down a bit after a workout helping you recover better. Relaxation often leads to better recovery.

  • It alleviates muscle soreness

If you are experiencing some soreness in the muscles, the best way to release it is by doing some static stretches. These stretches help taking out the excess blood that was pumped in the muscles, this helping muscle bring back to normal state and

  • It doesn’t require special knowledge or experience

Anyone can engage in static stretches, regardless of their knowledge and experience in athletics. It is quite easy compared to dynamic stretches.

Static stretches also help to enhance the flexibility and release the high amounts of energy from the muscles. You can do them even when you are watching your favorite show on the TV. You don’t have to stand when doing this stretches. That is why I love them.

When Are They Applicable?

static and dynamic stretching

Yes, static and dynamic stretching are different, but they actually have specific functions to your muscles. That is why professional athletes combine them in their career {so as to enjoy the benefits of both}. Keep in mind that each type of stretching will have an impact on your performance. Let’s see when both dynamic stretching vs static stretching are applicable:

When is dynamic stretching applicable?

They should be performed before an athletic event or any other physical activity. Dynamic stretching will increase your body temperature, along with your heart rate. This will then allow the muscles to move efficiently, and prepare your entire body for the activity ahead. Other than that, the dynamic stretches will awaken your nervous system to activate your brain in the event. Mind muscle connection is one of the most important aspects of muscle building, and preparing your mind for a tough workout is the best thing you can do for your progress.

What of static stretches?

Now that you know when dynamic stretches are applicable, you can guess when static stretches are recommended, can’t you? Well, let’s just say it for the sake of those who aren’t sure yet.

Studies show that static stretching should be done after an activity or athletic event. This will help to lessen the soreness and tension of the muscles as you stretch them. In turn, it will increase the blood circulation and grant you a better relaxation. Recovery is not just related to rest or diet, but also relieving your muscles after a workout, pumping out the excess blood from the muscle worked upon. You can also try herbal products for better relaxation.

Keep in mind that static stretches will reduce your power and strength, so don’t do them before an activity.

Conclusion

Each type of stretch is helpful to the muscles in one way or another. Even though they might seem less dangerous to the muscles, you should avoid over-training. Too much/uncontrolled training can affect your energy and endurance level or even tear your muscles in the end. So be easy with your stretches, and always seek professional advice if you are not sure of how to go about it.

Whether you are a newbie, a professional athlete, or just a regular person that wants to keep fit, stretching is vital, and it will help to flex your muscles. You can blend each stretch technique, but ensure that you static vs dynamic stretching at the right time to avoid any inconveniences.

All in all, go out and stretch those muscles.

Source:

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sportsdoc/Static-vs-dynamic-stretching.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/437963-static-stretching-advantages/http://www.stretching-exercises-guide.com/static-stretches.html#What_are_the_Benefits_of_Static

http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/injury-prevention/dynamic-stretching-vs-static-stretching_54248

This article is written in collaboration with FitnessPurity® that helps people reach their fitness goals with easy-to-follow guides, and to overcome any obstacles along the way.

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