Published: 08 November 2021

Dynamic vs. Static Stretching

We know all we’re supposed to warm up our muscles before we work-out, but did you know about the different ways in which you can warm up before exercising?

There’s two main ways to warm up: dynamic warmup and static stretching. A dynamic warmup means moving faster to get your muscles and joints loose for your workout whereas static stretching elongates the muscle and pushes it past the point it wants to go.  

Static Stretching

When you hold a stretch for at least a minute, you are performing a static stretch. Not sure what we mean? Think side bends or the classic hamstring stretch. The key part is to try stretching a little further than your muscles want you to go. Not too far in case you hurt yourself, but just a little increase each day. It is important that you hold that stretch to allow the muscle to adjust. The overall goal of a static stretch is to release tension, make muscles more flexible and less susceptible to pulls and strains. Static stretching can be an ideal warmup or gentle way of starting yoga.


Dynamic Warmup

Dynamic warmups may start with slow controlled movements, before then moving to more upbeat movements like high knees, kicks, jumping rope, jogging, and other low-impact, light effort exercises.  Studies show that doing dynamic warmups prior to activity can increase your overall performance, and coaches or personal trainers may recommend them before a workout or game.


Which is better?

Static stretching can provide recovery benefits, so may be best for cooling down after workouts. This is because static stretching relaxes muscles and reduces blood flow – not ideal if you’re about to go run or partake in a HIIT workout! Whereas a dynamic warmup has the opposite effect and boosts blood flow, which can enhance strength and range of motion. It is therefore more beneficial to start with a dynamic warmup, and cool down with static stretches!

Published: 08 November 2021