Dynamic vs. Static

Stretching that is! The hot topic lately seems to be, should you stretch before a workout?

I have read many articles and have had many discussions on whether you should stretch before a workout. Some experts say yes, yet other studies say that you risk injury by doing so.

When I got injured, the first thing people asked me was, “Did you not stretch?” Well, yes I stretched; sometimes before but always after. So when I started physical therapy, the first question I asked Reyna (my physical therapist) was, “So what is it? Pre-workout stretching – yay or nay?”

She explained to me that there are two different types of stretches – dynamic and static.

Dynamic stretches are recommended for pre-workout. The movements mimic the exercise. It’s a warm-up that prepares your body for what is to come. With dynamic stretching, positions are not held.

For my hamstring, Reyna has be doing Frankenstein walks (video calls it "toy soldiers"), crawling pikes and this other move that I don’t know the name of. Basically I put my palms on the ground then bend and straighten my legs (video calls it "inch worm"). Also, before a run I’ll do high knee jogs and butt kicks (video calls it "heels up"). You can find other types of dynamic stretches here.

Static stretching are positions that you hold for 30-60 seconds (the style more familiar with) and are appropriate after workouts.

Now when I say I’m going out for a 30-minute run, it’s really a 60+minute workout because both styles of stretching have become critical parts of my workout.

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