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 should be done– either dynamic or static exercises. The main purpose of stretches is to add a positive effect to any exercise and activity, as well as help to prevent injury.

Here, we are going to look at dynamic stretching and static stretching, examine their effects on exercise, and determine if it is best to use any one of the two in conjunction with your visits to our office.

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 movemen, which may include controlled arm and leg swings that reach the limits of your range of motion. It is different from ballistic stretching, which involves an 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:

  • Studies have shown that sports teams who use dynamic stretching have fewer injuries than those who use 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, which helps to stimulate the nervous system and elongate the muscles.

In comparison, let’s take a look at static stretch..

Static Stretching

Static stretching involves reaching forward or stretching to the point of tension, and then holding the position or stretch. Most individuals with limited expert guidance usually use static stretching as a basic tool for warming up. Proponents of static stretching also use static stretching in order to prevent injury and enhance the athletic performance, however, research has already shown that static stretching may have the potential of becoming detrimental to performance, and may not be able to reduce possible injuries in athletes. The following studies have shown the poor results related to the use of static stretching:

  • One study in Australia has revealed that those who did not perform static stretching and those who did had no differences in the incidence of injury.
  • Static stretch also showed to decrease the muscle strength for an hour following the stretch and also decrease 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 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, rather than before as a warm up.

So in summary, evidence between dynamic and static stretching seems to show that dynamic stretching works best for athletes and people who undergo exercise and any sports. It also shows that dynamic stretching is the best way to warm up the body, while static stretching may be best way to cool down.

There are also a lot of overlooked areas on the body, and it is important to cover them all when doing any stretching routine. One of the most overlooked stretches happens to be in the hip flexors. Many people have tight hip flexors, which can lead to a number of problems and pain. If you are interested in learning more about opening up your hip flexors, the tips on are very helpful in unlocking and opening up your hip flexors.