Static vs Dynamic Stretching (Differences & Benefits)

There are various types of stretching, but this book mainly features two types: static and dynamic. These are both easy to follow and use, and they can be used with a partner or without.

Dynamic and static techniques can help improve the range of motion and muscle length of different parts of the body. So what is the difference between static stretching and dynamic stretching?

Difference Between Static and Dynamic Stretching

While static stretches are typically performed in a static position for 30 to 45 seconds, dynamic stretches are those that involve controlled movements that are designed to improve the flexibility and safety of your muscles.

Both types of stretching can be performed at different times during a workout. Leigh-Ann Bramble, a physical therapist at the Sports Performance Center of the Houston Sports Hospital, discussed the benefits of dynamic and static stretching.

Static & Dynamic Stretch Benefits Comparison

Static Stretch Benefits
  • Increase blood flow
  • Improve flexibility and range of motion
  • Reduce muscle pain and stiffness
Dynamic Stretch Benefits
  • Increase muscle temperature
  • Improve range of motion
  • Reduce the risk of injury
  • Boost exercise performance

What is Static Stretching?

When people talk about stretching, they usually mean static stretching, which is the safest form. It doesn’t have the dramatic returns that other forms of stretching can provide, but it’s considered the most natural form.

The muscles are warmed up and stretched through a variety of positions. The goal is to lengthen the muscle’s point of tension or the edge of the stretch.

Performing movements that involve moving one’s feet and knees in different directions can make a muscle contract in the wrong way.

The contracting response can also occur when we push too hard into a stretch. This can be a sign that something is not right with the movement. If it happens, take a deep breath and start over.

When To Do Static Stretches?

After a workout, you can start to incorporate some static stretching into your routine. According to Leventhal, this helps strengthen and tone your muscles.

You can usually do this exercise for about 10 to 30 seconds. After that, you come out and repeat the move for a couple of seconds. This exercise can be done two to four times depending on how much muscle group you need to stretch.

Aside from improving flexibility, Leventhal also claims that static stretching can help reset the nervous system. This activity activates the body’s response to sleep.

Unlike dynamic stretching, static exercises don’t require you to do the same movements multiple times. Instead, focus on developing whole-body twists and dips.

According to Kuechenmeister, it takes about two minutes for muscles to adapt to a static stretch. To get the most out of this exercise, you’ll need to perform sets of 30 seconds each.

Examples of Static Stretches

Performing static stretching helps strengthen and tone your muscles. It involves moving them as far as you can without feeling any pain. Repeat the exercise two to three times.

Performing static stretching as part of your cool-down routine can help prevent injuries. It can also help maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

However, performing static stretching before an athletic event can actually hinder your performance. It can prevent your body from reacting quickly enough during certain activities, such as vertical jumps. This condition can last for up to two hours.

Posterior Capsule Stretch

This stretch is ideal for people who throw sports such as football, baseball, and basketball. To perform this exercise, bring one arm across your shoulders and hold it with the other. It will gently pull toward your body.

For this exercise, bring one arm across your shoulders and hold it with the other. Also, while holding the stretch, take your hand and push it toward your elbow.

Hamstring Stretch

Place one leg on a low stool and keep your back flat and knee straight. This exercise will help strengthen and lengthen the muscles in your thighs.

Quadriceps Stretch

With your hand on the same side, grab one ankle and keep it in a tight position. Extend your thigh backward and bend your knee to bring it up toward your butt.

To maintain a straight knee, keep the ankle in the same line as the hip. This stretch will also help strengthen the quadriceps muscle. While holding the stretch, feel a stretch in the front thigh.

What is Dynamic Stretching?

Dynamic stretches are gentle, slow, and within the range of motion of one’s joints. The goal of these movements is to raise the heart rate and encourage blood flow to the parts of the body that you’re most likely to participate.

Sportspeople can also customize their movements to mimic their sport, which can then be used to improve their performance. However, only if they take proper care of themselves.

Performing dynamic or warm-up exercises before performing static stretches will help improve the quality of one’s muscles. It’s also beneficial for people who are elderly or sedentary.

When to Do Dynamic Stretches?

Stretching stimulates the muscles through a variety of movements. It helps prepare them for more intense training.

You can set aside a couple of minutes for a dynamic stretching session before you start working out. It will help prepare your muscles for movement.

One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to performing dynamic stretching is overstretching a cold muscle. Doing so could cause the muscle to freeze. This is not the ideal way to prepare the muscles for movement.

Dynamic stretching is designed to mimic the movements that you’ll be performing during your workout. It helps prepare the muscles for their specific actions. For instance, if you’re training on a run, performing dynamic warmups can help strengthen the leg muscles.

These movements are commonly referred to as active stretching and are performed for a set of 10 to 12 repetitions. According to Leventhal, they’re designed to be gentle and not overly intense.

Examples of Dynamic Stretches

Performing static stretching helps improve agility and speed. It involves moving the body through a series of functional movements. These movements can help decrease muscle stiffness and increase muscle temperature.

Performing dynamic stretching before an athletic event should be part of your warm-up routine. It should be performed in a variety of low- to moderate-intensity activities, such as swimming, cycling, or running.

Torso Twist

For this exercise, stand with your feet facing forward and your shoulders and arms extended. Keep your elbows and feet in a 90-degree bend. Turn your torso around and twist it from one side to the other.

To avoid getting too tired, make sure to move through your trunk without moving your body. This exercise helps maintain a flexible spine and prevents it from getting injured while playing sports such as baseball, tennis, and hockey.

Walking Lunge

You can also do this by holding a step forward and a lunge, keeping the front knee in line with the ankle and hip.

If your front knee is bent, make sure that it doesn’t drive past your front toes. Step forward with the opposite leg and extend it in the same manner.

Performing this exercise will help strengthen the abdominal muscles and lengthen the hip, gluteus, and hamstring muscles. It’s ideal for people who play various sports such as soccer, rugby, and football.

Leg Swing

For this exercise, stand with one leg raised and slowly swing the other leg behind you while keeping the back flat. This stretch helps prepare the hip flexors and hamstrings for running.