How Are Dynamic Stretching Exercises Different?

Dynamic Stretching Exercises Look Pretty Weird

Dynamic Stretching exercises do look pretty strange to the uninitiated. More than one of our clients, even seasoned athletes, have given us funny looks when we tell them how to do dynamic stretching exercises in the dynamic warm up.

Classical static stretching exercises that we all know are things like pushing your hands up to the sky and holding them. Or sitting on your butt and reaching out to touch your toes. Whereas dynamic stretching exercises are… well.. dynamic. They require movement. A dynamic stretch shouldn’t be held for more than a few seconds. And it often involves hopping, swinging, or mimicking the athletic moves of the sport or activity you are about to engage in. A good example is from this youtube video, which features an athlete doing some soccer specific dynamic stretching exercises.

Dynamic stretching exercises: The best way to start a workout

These are some great moves that are similar to ones you will find in The Complete Dynamic Warm Up. Notice how the athlete is swinging his arms, hopping and swinging his hips out, swinging his legs. Looks kind of like a weird dance, doesn’t it? It does, but it feels great and makes a huge difference. Experts says dynamic stretching has been proven to reduce the likelihood of injury and increase explosiveness in muscles.

A couple of notes on the soccer warm up. It’s important to do your dynamic warm up correctly and not just copy a bunch of moves a seasoned athlete is doing right off the bat. Remember that this guy warmed up before he did these dynamic stretching exercises. It’s never a good idea to jump into a lot of the more rigorous exercises you see on youtube. And when doing leg swings you want to do them gently to start off; this guy is a soccer player who has been doing these moves for a while. You don’t want to do a complex, or overly strenuous dynamic warm up move without a proper progression or you may get hurt during the dynamic stretching exercises.

Our Complete Dynamic Warm Up doesn’t require any cardio or warm up because it’s built to naturally warm you up as you do the warm up. But we wouldn’t have you do lunges or hip swings at first, that wouldn’t be the best.

Now that you’ve seen some dynamic stretching exercises, let’s refresh ourselves about static stretching. Remember that static stretching is great to do on an off day or after a workout, but not before. You really want to minimize the amount of static stretching you do before a workout. In addition to the medical studies that suggest static stretching before a workout can weaken muscles, just use some common sense. Take a look at this stretching routine from our friends at The Stretching Handbook. These guys have some great static stretches to improve flexibility, but they are a little irresponsible in recommending people do this before a workout. Not good! (Instead stretches like this should be done on an off day or after!)

Check out this routine for basketball players. Notice how they are holding the stretch for 20 seconds. Just imagine your muscles is like a rubber band. Can you see how elongating the muscle before rigorously working it out can result in injury? Can you see how it’s better to do these moves after the muscles is warmed up and worked out, and ready to cool down?

Static Stretching Exercises: The Best Way to END Your Workout

Just using your own judgment, which seems like a better way to get warmed up for a workout? Using these static stretching exercises or doing dynamic stretching exercises like the ones you saw above? If you think about it, doesn’t it make more sense to prep for a workout by moving your muscles around, rather than holding them in a still position then suddenly jumping up and stressing them? If you’d like to learn more about proper dynamic stretching exercises make sure to check out The Complete Dynamic Warm Up.

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