Ever since fitness has been known to mankind stretching has played an integral role in warming up your muscles before any strenuous activity. Stretching is the practice of targeting a specific muscle group or joint in order to increase blood flow in that desired area, people stretch to avoid pulling muscles or causing spasms which happen due to an excessive amount of force being applied to a dormant or tense part of the body. There are two main types of stretching methods known as dynamic stretching and static stretching, while both of these methods differ greatly from one another they essentially provide the same baseline benefits.
To begin, let’s breakdown one of the most well-known and commonly used forms of stretching known as static stretching. Static stretching basically means that you’re isolating one muscle group, an example of a static stretch would be sitting down with both feet placed in front of you while extending your arms to reach the tip of your toes. This stretch routine would be primarily targeting your hamstring which is one muscle group, the term “static stretching” just simply refers to isolating a single muscle group.
Dynamic stretching is a more complex form of stretching that involves the use of multiple muscle groups in combination with physical activity. An example of dynamic stretching would be walking lunges, walking lunges incorporate the use of glutes which are located in your butt and hip alongside your quadriceps and hamstrings which are located in the thighs.
This type of stretching is known as “dynamic stretching” because you use multiple muscle groups during the process. The use of various muscle groups in one stretch is a great way to efficiently loosen up your body for sports or fitness activity without focusing on specific muscle groups individually. While dynamic stretches can help you save time in the gym, they will also help you gain better coordination throughout various muscle groups leading to increased efficiency and power in your movements.
Both dynamic and static stretching allow you to supply your muscles with more flexibility, while neither one is better than the other each of these stretching techniques provide benefits which may support range of motion for particular activities better than the other.
For example, a runner may want to perform more dynamic stretches because the activity of running incorporates multiple muscle groups. An individual who is simply doing push-ups may benefit more from static stretching targeted at their upper body.
The decision on whether you should perform dynamic or static stretches ultimately falls on you. Each stretching methods provides its own unique benefits and both of them allow you to increase mobility in your joints and muscles so that you can perform at your maximum potential.
Both dynamic and static stretching will significantly reduce your chances of injury during physical activity which makes both of them very valuable techniques. Before deciding on which stretching methods I best for you, consider what muscle groups will be active during your activity of choice then go from there.