Static vs Dynamic Stretching - Wesley Chapel chiropractorStretching is used basically for warming up and cooling down before any type of exercise. However, there have been controversies regarding which type of stretching to be done– either dynamic or static exercises. The main concern of stretches is to have a positive effect on any exercise and activity and have effects on injury prevention.

Here, we are going to look at dynamic stretching and static stretching and examine their effects on exercise and whether to use any one of the two in conjunction with your Wesley Chapel chiropractor visits.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching exercise that uses a specific body movement in order to prepare the body for the activity. Dynamic stretching also involves the gradual increase in the speed and reach of movement that may include controlled arm and leg swings that achieves the limits of your range of motion. It is different from ballistic stretching, which involves the increase in the extent of range of motion beyond one’s capacity. Dynamic stretching has been proposed and supported by many strength coaches as well as professional coaches. The proponents of dynamic stretching use the following principles on showing why dynamic stretching is more beneficial than static stretching:

  • One coach uses dynamic stretching to all his athletes and did not have even one who develops a muscle pull that may require medical treatment.
  • A study showed that a team that uses dynamic stretching has fewer injuries than those who had static stretching.
  • According to the specificity principle, warming up using motions that resemble the activity to be done is more advantageous.
  • Dynamic stretching increases flexibility better than static stretching.
  • Dynamic stretching not only decreases the chances for injury, but also increases the muscle temperature and core temperature, stimulates the nervous system and elongates the muscles.

Static Stretching

Static stretching involves the reaching forward or stretching to the point of tension and holding the position or stretch. Most people who don’t have expert guidance usually use static stretching as a basic tool for warming up. Proponents of static stretching also use the technique in order to prevent injury and enhance the athletic performance. However, research has already shown that static stretching may be detrimental to any type of performance and may not be able to reduce the possible injuries of athletes. The following are the studies that show poor evidence on the use of static stretching:

  • One study in Australia has revealed that those who did not perform static stretching and those who did have no differences in the incidence of injury.
  • Static stretch also showed to decrease the muscle strength for an hour following the stretch and also decreases the eccentric stretch of the person.
  • A study on the Achilles tendon reflex activity showed that static stretching reduces the force production rate as well as the peak force.
  • Static stretching was also found to reduce the specific coordination during movements.
  • Static flexibility is not synonymous to dynamic flexibility. The increased range in motion using static stretching may not be synonymous to sports specific flexibility and functional improvements that are seen in dynamic stretching.
  • Research shows that static stretching works best after an activity as a cooling down measure.

The evidence of dynamic and static stretching shows that dynamic stretching works best for athletes and people who undergo exercise and any sports. As coaches and trainers, it is your responsibility to pick the best method of stretching in order to improve the performance and prevent injuries. It also shows that dynamic stretching is the best way to warm up the body and static stretching may be best to cool down the individual.