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Static and dynamic stretching: What's the difference?
Stretching is an important part of physical fitness and ideally should be included daily to protect mobility. Stretching daily can help combat muscle tension that is often caused by a sedentary lifestyle or desk job, and poor posture.
There are two types of stretching (static and dynamic) and people often find themselves confused between what they are, and when to perform them.
Static stretches are held for an extended period of time (usually between 30-60 seconds) and involve stretching a muscle to the point of slight discomfort. Despite what you might have been told, these stretches are not ideal before exercise. This is because static stretching can impair explosive and strength-based performance when done prior to exercise.
However, static stretches maintain a place following a workout and in injury rehabilitation. Static stretching helps to improve blood flow to the muscles as well as improve range of motion and flexibility.
Things to remember:
Static stretches should be held for between 30 and 90 seconds.
You should feel a slight discomfort and stretch but should not push to the point of pain.
Ensure you ease into each stretch.
Try static stretching following your cool down or as a separate session.
Static stretching example: Hip flexor stretches.
Dynamic stretches are movement based and can be described as stretching while in motion. Rather than holding a stretch, you are moving your joints through a full range of motion. Unlike static stretches, they warm-up your muscles, and focus on both mobility and the eccentric movements that you perform during exercise.
Tips and tricks
Perform dynamic stretches during your warm-up before exercise.
Choose dynamic stretches that are specific to the exercise you will be performing.
Dynamic stretching example: Leg swings.
Disclaimer: The information on this page is for informational purposes only. Do not start new exercise without the recommendation of a professional.
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