Should you stretch? The short answer is yes, of course, you should stretch. The long answer – well, it’s not that long.
The more important question you should ask yourself is “when should I stretch?”
Static Stretching is performed by holding a certain position – sitting, standing or lying down – for a specified period of time.
Dynamic Stretching provides a much more active state of stretching, simply by performing movement patterns that will actually be used in the workout. They utilize a full range of motion without a high-intensity level.
Dynamic Stretching vs. Static Stretching
Contrary to popular belief, static stretching before exercise actually decreases muscle strength and increases the risk of injury.
Determining the appropriate time to implement these unique forms of stretching is important for safety and the effectiveness of an exercise program.
Yes, I’m aware that ever since you have played sports as a kid or participated in 5th-grade gym class, you have been instructed to always stretch first.
The body prior to a workout is not warm-meaning there is no adequate amount of blood flow in the muscles, nor will statically stretching increase the blood flow to the capacity of optimizing performance.
Dynamic stretching, in fact, does increase blood flow. Therefore, it is a much more efficient option in priming the body for activity.
By implementing dynamic warmups prior to a workout, you can expect better results and less risk of injury due to joint mobility.
Flexibility training or static stretching at the end of a workout can improve movement capacity.
Static stretching post-workout will aid in the body’s natural cool-down process and help restore blood flow. It also contributes to assisting the heart rate back down to a normal resting rate.
Dynamic stretching is a better pre-workout option due to increased blood flow paired with increased joint mobility and range of motion.
By Ron from RONNICFIT