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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Static Stretching Vs Dynamic Stretching: Which Is The Best?

Any sport or fitness program always begins and ends with a series of stretching exercises. Naturally, stretching plays an essential role in any activity that puts pressure on your muscles and joints. Not only this, people who do not indulge in any sport or physical activities can also leverage the benefits of stretching their bodies regularly. It can be seen in their improved flexibility and range of motion.

There are many kinds of stretches that a person can do. However, everyone needs to know the difference between dynamic and static stretching, which are the two most popular forms of stretching recommended by fitness experts, therapists, and physicians. There is a need to know about both these types of stretching to incorporate them according to the type of physical activity. Here is all that you need to about these two kinds of stretches so that you can better distinguish between dynamic and static stretching.

Dynamic Stretching

stretching, dynamic, static

Woman stretching arms and legs, Credit: Pixabay

This type of stretching is more functional in nature. It incorporates full-body movements that impart an enhanced range of motion. Hip hinges, arm circles, lunging motions, leg kicks, swings, and moving hamstring stretches are some of its most common examples. All these stretches incorporate movement of more than one muscle group.

A single dynamic stretch is repeated for about 10-12 times. Dynamic stretches should ideally be performed before your major exercises. These stretches boost your performance during the actual workout. They are very useful in enhancing your overall flexibility, muscle strength, and jump performance.

Static Stretching

stretching, dynamic, static

People doing toe touch stretch, Credit: Pixabay

Static stretching is used to stretch a particular muscle group for a period of time ranging from a few seconds to upto a minute. You remain stationed in a specific position and do not move, unlike dynamic stretches while performing them. Toe touches, calf stretches, and several yoga poses are its most common examples.

A static stretch is repeated for about 2-4 times. It is generally advised to perform these stretches after your workout. Doing it before your workout may hamper your athletic performance as it decreases blood circulation in your muscles. It is best performed as a cool down after your activities.

By now, you must have gained a sufficient understanding of the difference of dynamic and static stretching.

Difference between Dynamic and Static Stretch Reflex

stretching, dynamic, static, reflex

Person stretching legs, Credit: Pixabay

In order to further understand and describe difference between dynamic and static stretching, it is essential to get an idea of what a stretch reflex is. Stretch reflex means the extent of muscle contraction that happens as you stretch. If you suddenly extend or unstretch a particular muscle, a signal is sent to the spinal cord. It results in a sudden muscle contraction. Also, it is called the dynamic stretch reflex. It opposes sudden muscle length changes. Its intensity decreases as you keep doing the stretches regularly, helping your muscles to reach new lengths.

In the case of the static stretch reflex, the muscle contraction continues as long as the stretch is maintained. Both these kinds of stretch reflexes are effective in preventing any oscillation or jerky body movements.

Which Is Better – Dynamic Or Static Stretching?

stretching, dynamic, static

Woman stretching arms and legs, Credit: Pixabay

Dynamic stretches engage all of your muscle groups and are very beneficial to prevent injury and boost your sports performance. They may be performed as active warm-ups before enjoying any sport or strength training exercises.

Static stretches, on the other hand, should not be forgotten to be performed after your workout. They are useful in relieving muscle tension and stress and relaxing all the muscles that have worked hard during the training. Sometimes you can also incorporate some of the static stretches after doing your active warmups.

Thus, we see that both dynamic and static stretches are beneficial in imparting your muscles with mobility and a better range of motion. Even if you are not accustomed to doing physical activities, these stretches should be an essential part of your daily life.

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