Dynamic vs. Static Stretching

 

Growing up, I hated stretching. Before each practice, we were given a protocol to complete that looked a lot like the photo on this post. Static stretches (like the one in the photo) are stretches that you hold for a given length of time (usually 10-30 seconds). Dynamic stretches are stretches that take joints into a full range of motion. So which is best?

 

In the last few years, research is showing that Dynamic stretching is actually the best, especially for pre-workout routines. The research shows that these stretches increase core temperature and blood flow, as well as activate the central nervous system. This activation is beneficial in increasing body awareness (proprioception), along with helping stability and balance. As if those aren’t enough benefits to Dynamic stretching, research has also shown that they increase force production and explosive power.¬†Does that mean you should only use Dynamic stretching? Not necessarily. As I’m sure you have all heard, you should stretch before and after your workout/activity. The benefits are great for pre-workout routines, but not so much for post-workout protocols.

 

In terms of the physiological effect, Static stretching doesn’t provide the same benefits as Dynamic stretching. However, Static stretches do provide the benefit of muscle relaxation. This benefit is great after an activity/workout to help reduce injury and muscle soreness. If you are familiar with Peak Performance Chiropractic Clinic, you know that there is one quote (by Gray Cook) that we take to heart; “First move well, then move often!” The research shows that to move well, Dynamic stretching needs to be added to your pre-workout protocols!

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