STATIC VS DYNAMIC STRETCHING
WHAT TYPES OF STRETCHING ARE THERE?
Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching to improve mobility while moving through a range-of- motion. It usually is done in a manner that looks like the activity or sport waiting to be performed. We always recommend performing dynamic stretches during a “warm-up” and prior to activity.
Static stretching is holding a stretch without movement. It is usually held for a long duration at the end-range of a joint motion. This type of stretching is done during a “cool-down” and after activity.
Recent research shows that static stretching may decrease sports performance! Studies further show decreased sprint times in runners, decreased height of jumps in basketball players, decreased agility in soccer players, and decreased force-production in both elite male and female athletes. On the other hand, dynamic stretching has demonstrated positive benefits in speed, power, and agility skills. More importantly, dynamic stretching has been proven to decrease risk of injury in both recreational and elite athletes.
Static stretching has no direct long-term negative impact on people however this form of stretching will temporarily decrease the ability of a muscle to produce force, as we discussed in the above paragraph. This decreased muscle force production can lessen a body’s ability to stabilize a joint and control motion thus increasing the susceptibility of an injury. This could be counterproductive in people who perform static stretching in hopes to avoid an injury.
Static stretching is very beneficial for gaining overall range of motion and loosening very tight and painful muscle groups related to previous injury or painful dysfunctional movement. It is best to perform static stretching in training or therapy sessions for increase in overall range of motion, and after higher level activity to regain muscle length, flush the recently worked muscles with fresh circulation and reduce muscle tone.
As we mentioned earlier, dynamic stretching has been shown to significantly increase the ability of a muscle to produce force. This has huge implications for athletes, as dynamic stretching can improve muscular performance throughout a muscle’s entire range-of- motion. It can also provide protection to the body’s joints during sports activity and decrease the vulnerability to injury.
HOW TO STRETCH PROPERLY?
Static stretching is the most familiar form of stretching. It’s the one we all know about where you extend a body segment at the end of it’s range and hold it for a length of time until you feel it give into more motion. This type of stretching is best for recovery and rehabilitation to injury, and for painful or dysfunctionally tight muscles to restore the balance of the joint. We’d be glad to teach you more about how to maximize your static stretching routine at Core Performance PT. We’ll walk you through tips and tricks on body position, length of holding and incorporation of breathing techniques to improve your stretching efficiency.
Dynamic stretching is a proven method of stretching that has good health benefits. However, this form of stretching is a coordinated sequence of movements that is designed to dynamically lengthen the muscles and stabilize a joint prior to an activity or sport. It is recommended that you seek some formal training from a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapist or Certified Athletic Trainer who is trained in current concepts of dynamic stretching. Our providers at Core Performance PT have the most up to date training on assessing the functional needs of a client. We can design an individualized dynamic stretching program to directly benefit your needs.