Are you confused about stretching? There seems to be a lot of information out there about the benefits of stretching, yet still more about the contraindications to stretching. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your workout!

There are two main styles of stretching: Dynamic and Static

Sports trainers will incorporate both styles of stretching with their athletes when preparing for athletic events, but for recreational exercisers, it is important to understand the differences and benefits of each style.

Dynamic stretching ~ this type of stretching uses big ranges of motion and mimics the movement done during specific athletic events. Dynamic stretching exercises for soccer, football, running, etc, will engage in large, slow, rhythmic movements to warm up the muscles to prepare for the event. These are done to reduce injury and enhance performance.

Static stretching ~ this type of stretching is typically done after a brief warm up and strengthening routine to improve flexibility and cool the body down. These stretches mimic the exercises that are being done and the stretch is held for a longer period of time to help lengthen the muscle and potentially reduce muscle soreness after exercise.

Both types of stretching are done while the body is warmed up and prepared for the stretching movements. Regardless of the type of stretching, it is essential to avoid quick bouncing or jerky movements when stretching.

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