Stretching is essential to any workout regime, particularly useful for injury prevention and boosted flexibility. There are two main types of stretching, dynamic and static. This post covers the difference between the two modes, and when to implement each.
Often involving slow and controlled movements through a complete range of motion, dynamic stretching prepares the joints for movement and strenuous activity. Warming up through dynamic stretches promotes blood flow to your muscle groups and reduces the risk of pulled muscles when engaged in full exertion. Adding a light stationary jog between stretches or getting the arms above the heart (arm circles, jumping jacks etc) can catalyze the warm-up as well. Dynamic stretches are great before a sporting match, running workout, and lifting weights.
Static stretches are ideal for cooling down post-workout. Adding in yoga moves like child’s pose and cobra can smooth out the process of static stretches when trying to calm down the muscle groups. Holding each static stretch for 10 seconds minimum is sufficient for a proper stretch. When extending, try to push yourself slightly past what feels ‘easy’ or comfortable.
Coming back from injury
When battling back from an injury, it’s imperative that you stretch. Whether a skeletal, joint or muscle injury is being healed, the surrounding muscles in the area and all other groups in the body must be able to compensate and balance out as you get back on track. Unevenly treating and developing the groups of your anatomy can lead to further damage and trouble with injury. So take the time and stretch before and after any rehab session!