24 May 2018

What is Dynamic Stretching?

Fitness and workout advice

Dynamic stretching or warm-ups gained popularity in sports about a decade ago as an effective technique to prep athletes pre-game.

Today, this exercise is part of a standard warm-up routine, be it in sports or before you start your gym workout.

What is Dynamic Stretching?

Well, it’s all in the name really. Dynamic suggests movement or action and that’s what a dynamic stretch is; a stretch that keeps moving.

In a static stretch, you’ll keep that stretch happening in a static position for anything from 5 to 60 seconds. Whereas with a dynamic stretch, you’ll hold for just a few seconds, possibly incorporating movement in other parts of your body and release in a slow-motion back to the starting position. Repeat.

Dynamic Stretching Examples

Okay, left leg straight and extended, right leg bent. While your left leg is at its straight, stretched and extended limit, reach both arms to the sky, then bring the extended leg back to a bent position.

Left leg extended behind, right leg bent and leaning forward, twist left and right and extend your arms to the sky.

Or how about standing and doing a gentle twist with a difference. Hold both arms out straight and as you twist, twist your arms palm up to palm down.

As you can see, each stretch is far from static, there’s a fairly constant, fluid movement throughout each.

According to Greatist, here’s what a Five-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up Routine should include:

  • Lunge with a Twist

  • Knee to Chest

  • High Kicks

  • Hip Stretch With A Twist

  • T-Push-Ups

  • Jump Squats (Advanced)

  • Jump Lunges (Advanced)

Interested to know how often should you work out in a week ideally? Find out in our insightful blog post!

What are the Benefits of Dynamic Stretching?

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From all accounts, dynamic stretching is a great way to improve your performance if you’re about to do something – exercise or play a sport – requiring a lot of power, speed or strength.

Adding dynamics to your stretching regime can increase your overall power, endurance, and coordination, not to mention enhance balance.

Moreover, a good dynamic warm-up boosts your range of movement and increases the blood and oxygen flow to your muscles, ligaments, and tendons before you kick-start your actual workout.

Dynamic Stretching as a Warm-Up

What is warming up really meant to achieve? Basically, the best warm-ups warm and prepare all the muscles you plan to use in your workout or activity, be it a sport, run or swim.

Ideally, the stretches you do should mimic the movements you will use in your workout or activity. Static stretches can’t do that – they’re not really movements. Dynamic stretching can and it’s a far more enjoyable way to warm up.

Let’s face it, professional or amateur, we all hate warm-ups; they’re repetitive and can become dull. The danger is that over time, we start to skip through them faster than we should and that’s when we open ourselves up to injury.

Dynamic stretching brings more of a fun factor into the stretching process; it’s almost like a mini workout in itself and helps you stick to a regimented warm-up plan.

Is Static Stretching Still Relevant?

It really depends on the activity and intensity. Generally speaking, dynamic stretching increases speed and power of motion, whereas static stretching can do a better job of increasing your range of motion.

There is still room for both in a training regime. The best advice is to talk to a Personal Trainer or Gym Instructor. They can work out a stretching mix appropriate to your goals.

Better still, why not become that qualified Personal Trainer or Gym Instructor yourself with our nationally accredited fitness courses and show others how to do it? Enquire now and speak to one of our career advisors for more information!

Get in touch with AIPT today.

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