Dynamic vs static stretching

For so many of us, we live in a largely sedentary world. Either chained to our desks or commuting in cars all day long as we work, there’s so much inaction and this definitely takes a toll on our body and our overall well-being.  Therefore, stretching has never been more important than now to incorporate into your daily routines. Whether it be dynamic stretching or static stretching, in order to maintain your physical health and welfare, at Hands On Health Care Clinic we recommend taking the time to integrate these action into your everyday life.

What is dynamic stretching?

Just as the word dictates, a dynamic stretch is one in which you move as you stretch. Perfect for activating your muscles pre-workout, these deliberate, slow stretches send a signal to your body to prepare to engage these areas as you embark on your exercise routine. You’ll find many athletes, whether amateur or professional, will make this fluid form of stretching an integral part of their warm-up so that their joints, muscles and even blood flow are fully prepped for either an optimal workout or win when competing.

What is static stretching?

As the word static suggests, this is a type of stretch where you hold a position or pose without moving for between 10 – 30 seconds. More well-known than its dynamic counterpart, static stretching should challenge your muscles, but in a way which is comfortable. Designed to elongate the muscles, there are many opinions on whether its best done when warming up or warming down. The good news is both options are a safe way to either prepare your body to move or signal it to cool down.

How does dynamic stretching help me stay healthy?

We all want to avoid injury when we’re participating in our favourite sports. No matter if you’re playing a friendly soccer match against mates or trying to secure a spot on a professional team, dynamic stretching is the key to keeping you healthy before you get on the sporting pitch. This range of motion as you stretch and move will make you more agile and prepare your muscles and joints for action.

How does static stretching benefit my health?

Although there seems to have been more of a move away from this type of stretching, static still has its place. Research has shown it’s a beneficial way to increase flexibility and joint range of motion, which is crucial not only for everyday well-being but also for athletes. However, there are some groups who declare static stretching to be responsible for muscle injury, but these findings have been disputed by many health professionals.

Examples of dynamic stretches

Our shoulders often bear the brunt of our poor posture from sitting at a desk or in a car too long during any given day. Arm Swings can alleviate this. Here’s how:

Stand with your knees slightly bent and feet at shoulder width apart. Stretch your arms out horizontally from your body and swing them forward to cross over each other at the front of your body. Bring them back to their starting position as quickly as you can, remembering to keep your shoulders down. Abs should be tight and back straight, repeating this action for approximately 30 seconds.

Examples of static stretches

Hamstrings often suffer from the most tightness in our body, so static stretching is a must do to counteract this. Here’s how:

Sitting on the ground, extend your right leg straight out in front of you, while the sole of your left foot rests against your knee. Lean forward from your hips, holding on to either your shin, foot or your toes with both hands for approximately 15 seconds. You should feel a stretch in your hamstring area as you do this. Switch legs and repeat these actions.

The one rule to follow, whether using dynamic or static stretching 

Most of all, know this: remember to breathe! Simple as it sounds, people concentrate so intently on the actual stretch they involuntarily hold their breath. This only counteracts what you are trying to achieve so in order to gain the most out of your stretching routine remember to inhale and exhale deeply and regularly in every dynamic or static stretch. Not only will it help you relax but will also deepen the stretch and help improve your flexibility. It also aids your circulation as well as protects you from any potential injury.

Want to know more about dynamic and static stretching? Eager to see how these actions can assist in your daily life? The time to act is now – talk to our friendly, professional team at Hands On Health Care Clinic today so we can help get your body moving to its optimum level of health and well-being.

August 25, 2017
Georgina Smith