Stretching is an important part of any exercise program to maintain and improve mobility. There are different types of stretching techniques and it is important to understand the purpose of each type of stretch. Dynamic stretching refers to taking your body through a repetitive range of motion, while static stretching refers to holding your body in a fixed position for a fixed duration. When used properly, both dynamic and static stretching can be beneficial components of your fitness routines.
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Dynamic stretching is taking your body through ranges of motion consistent with the movements you will be performing in your workout. Dynamic stretching should be performed as a warm-up prior to your workout. It is designed to increase blood flow, lubricate the joints, and prepare the muscles for activation.
Examples of dynamic stretches are straight leg march, leg swings, inchworms, crab walks, bear crawls, walking lunges, and many other movements that are low impact but require you to repetitively take your body through a desired range of motion. You should make sure your dynamic stretching routine takes you through a complete and diverse routine that will assist with preventing injury during your upcoming workout.
Static stretching is designed to hold your body in a position to help increase flexibility. Static stretching should be performed as a cool-down after you have completed your workout. It should target the joints and muscles that were most utilized in your workout. Additionally, if you have injuries or limitations, those areas should also be focused on during your static stretching routine.
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Some examples of static stretches are frog stretch, pigeon pose, twisted cross, lizard pose, couch stretch, and many other positions that challenge your flexibility and mobility. Static stretching can also help to prevent injury and aid in recovery. Pose durations during static stretching can vary depending on the difficulty level of the position.