Know When to Perform Dynamic vs Static Stretches
Stretching can be very individual, but there are some basics that everyone should be aware of. While the below outline is how I approach my own stretching routine, it is very much in line with how many sports clubs, universities and sports experts approach their stretching routines as well. I pretty much learned this from my own experience in university as a cross country runner, former elite rower and competitive junior triathlete.
In general, there is a lot of evidence that shows that performing dynamic stretches before exercise, followed by static stretches after exercise, decreases your chances of injury overall and helps you perform the sports-related movement more efficiently. There are a ton of great resources online, but I’ve included two below that you can take a look at.
Before-Exercise: Dynamic Stretching
With dynamic stretching you are performing movements that are sport-specific and help prepare and warm up your muscles for the workout ahead by increasing your muscles range of motion. This will allow you to achieve that “efficiency” I noted above.
Sample External Resource: https://yurielkaim.com/dynamic-stretches-for-runners/
After-Exercise: Static Stretching
After your workout is when you can safely perform your static stretches. This means that instead of moving through an exercise to increase your range of motion (like dynamic stretching), you are holding the stretch in place for about 30 seconds (no movement from point A to point B). I personally don’t have time to sit and stretch after a workout, so I usually perform my static stretching in the shower while doing the hot/cold approach (alternating between 3 minutes hold and 1 minute cold).
Sample External Resource: https://www.runnersworld.co.uk/health/the-rw-complete-guide-to-stretching-for-runners
Do you have any favourite dynamic or static stretches that have worked for you?
Until next time,