What it is? Benefits, and how to get started
What is Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic Stretching is a type of stretching that is based on movement, which uses the muscles to stretch themselves. It is more so used as a warm-up for athletes, as it does not stretch the muscles to their fullest capacity, and works on activating them instead. An example of a dynamic stretch would be doing arm circles before lifting weights or doing an arm-heavy sport.
If you are an athlete or someone who exercises, dynamic stretches are a vital part of any warm-up. You may find that you cannot execute a movement due to a lack of flexibility, or your performance is lacking because you need more range of motion. Completing a dynamic stretch routine before you exercise, curated for your specific activity, can help to dramatically improve your overall athletic performance.
What are the benefits of Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretching has many benefits which will allow you to execute much stronger workouts or become a better athlete. It will expand your range of motion just enough to provide some of the following benefits:
- Reduced injury due to increased range of motion and muscle preparedness because it is a warm up.
- Improved athletic performance due to warming up specific muscle groups
- Relieved tightness during exercise, and overall less pain because of activated flexibility.
Dynamic stretching is a great way to increase flexibility and activate important muscles before a workout or any form of exercise. As an athlete, it should always be done before any activity because its benefits will allow you to perform at your best.
When should you do Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretching is important because it can improve overall athletic performance, while decreasing the risk of injury. When going to exercise, it is important that you properly warm up your muscles beforehand, so that you have access to your full range of motion safely. Dynamic stretching should be done only in specific timeframes, in order to get the most out of it:
- Dynamic stretching should always be done before a workout
- Be sure to incorporate at least five to ten minutes of dynamic stretching before any exercise.
- Dynamic stretching is not ideal for after a workout when you want to relax and release the muscles.
- If you are looking to incorporate stretches into your post-workout routine, check out static passive stretching.
Dynamic Active Stretching
Since dynamic stretching is characterized by continuously moving through stretches, it is considered active stretching. None of the stretching positions are ever held, which means that some muscles will always have to be engaged in order to sustain the stretch and your balance. This prevents the stretch from being as effective, but it is successful in warming up the muscles and providing some range of motion.
What is the difference between Dynamic and Static stretching?
Dynamic stretching is characterized by active movements going through stretches, while static stretching is characterized by holding stretch positions passively for periods of time.
For more information on the difference between Dynamic and Static stretching, check out our page on static stretching.
How Does Dynamic Stretching Improve Flexibility?
Dynamic stretching improves flexibility by warming up the muscles and loosening the muscle fibers. When your muscles are warmed up, the muscle fibers lengthen and loosen, allowing for you to go farther into a stretch. The best time to gain flexibility is when you are warm. Because dynamic stretching is warming you up while you stretch, it does not allow for you to reach your maximum flexibility potential, but you can still make some progress.
The best Dynamic Stretches for flexibility are:
- Hip Circles
- Walking Lunges
- High Kicks
- Cat Cows
- Inch Warm
- Knee to Chest
- Hip Stretch with a Twist
How to Start with Dynamic Stretching
To start incorporating dynamic stretching into your pre-workout routine, look at the exercises or movements you are trying to execute.
- Base the creation of your stretch routine around what muscles you need to warm up, and what muscle groups need to be loosened to get a full range of motion. This will improve your performance and help to prevent injury as well.
- Make sure to include a stretch for every major muscle group, even if you don’t think you will be using it because oftentimes we engage muscles we don’t even realize we are using in certain exercises.
- Once you have created your routine, make sure to incorporate it before every workout, for at least five to ten minutes, or until you are fully warmed up.
Now that you know exactly what dynamic stretching is and how to execute it, make sure to check out our articles on static stretching and static stretching exercises! A combination of dynamic and static stretching is the best way to improve flexibility, decrease tension and pain, and reduce the risk of injury. Get started stretching today with Kika Stretch Studios!