Still Doing this Wrong before Exercise?

By Loyd Capisinio and LeAura Alderson

The Benefits of Dynamic Stretching vs. Static Stretching, and When to do Which

All you have to do is search the term “warm up before exercise” and when it comes to individual exercisers over team sports, the images that come up are mostly old school, static stretches.

Many people are still doing this wrong.

We all grew up stretching before Phys Ed (PE) class, right? Many runners still do it. You see them with legs propped up on a wall or railing, or a bent over bouncing toward toes.

It turns out that the need to stretch before exercise, which originated to protect against injury, is a myth. Instead, you need to warm up before your workout.

Never do static stretching before a workout.

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Static Stretches should only be performed after exercising, such as during cool down, when your muscles are warm, yet no longer needing to contract in effort.

STATIC STRETCHING, is that touch-your-toes-and-hold-it kind of stretch. Never stretch a cold muscle. To stretch cold would be like a cold rubber band in the freezer. If you’ve used a cold rubber band, you know the elasticity is diminished and it is likely to break before it stretches very far. Yet as soon as it’s warmed up that same piece of elastic is pliable and can perform as it’s intended to. So save your stretching for after your workout as part of your cool-down.

Never stretch a cold muscle.

Static stretching is used to stretch muscles while the body is at rest. It is composed of various techniques that gradually lengthen a muscle to an elongated position (to the point of discomfort) and hold that position for 30 seconds to two minutes. Wikipedia

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DYNAMIC STRETCHING, builds flexibility as you move through a full range of motions; it’s not just stretch and hold.

Dynamic stretching warms your body by going through motions similar to what you will do in your sport or exercise. You’ve probably seen track and field athletes doing the motions for the hurdles or the sprints as they march with high knees and swing their legs into kicks. Fighters will jump on alternating feet as they punch the air to warm up, then swing and rotate arms. Bodybuilders set up for a bench press or a squat rack and start with just body weight, then some really light sets before getting into the heavy sets. All of that is considered a dynamic warm-up.

Always warm up before working out.

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Stretching at the end of a workout increases your ability to prevent injury because it will decrease a lot of the risk factors so if you’re decreasing those and you’ve got a better range of motion, more pliability, more tendon flexibility, all those things are really positive. So chronic programs are the way to look, don’t worry that you didn’t stretch before this one workout.

Always stretch at the end.

 

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Acute stretching decreases strength and power, so avoid this before workouts… engage in stretching after exercise.

Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching beneficial in sports utilizing momentum from form, and the momentum from static-active stretching strength, in an effort to propel the muscle into an extended range of motion not exceeding one’s static-passive stretching ability. Wikipedia

Video demonstrating Dynamic Stretching, posted on YouTube.com by kateinnh

RESOURCES

ARTICLES:
The Benefits of Dynamic Stretching vs. Static Stretching, BodyScapesFitness.com
Dynamic Stretching
, Wikipedia.com
Static Stretching, Wikipedia.com
Still Doing this Wrong Before Exercise?, BestFitLife.com

BOOKS:
Stretching: 30th Anniversary Edition, by Bob Anderson