Growing up, physical education classes always taught us to stretch before doing physical activities. Stretching is still beneficial but there are different types of stretches and specific times to put them to use. Most of what we have been taught is static stretching, where we hold a stretch for at least 10 seconds or more in the same position. There are other forms of stretching that can be much more helpful.
Dynamic stretching is still stretching but you do not hold the stretch for a short period of time. It is stretching with continuous movement. Dynamic stretching is best done before your workouts. When you do dynamic stretches before your workout, you are essentially warming up your muscles for your workout and it prepares your body for the workout to come. Dynamic stretching before workouts or games help improve range of motion and will help your flexibility of your joints for the game. Dynamic movements prep your body for the movement you are about to do.
Examples of dynamic stretches:
There are many different dynamic stretches and you should tailor the type of stretches towards the work you are about to make your body do.
For arms: a good stretch would be using your arms to make complete arm circles, full range of motion.
For legs: for maybe like 10 meters or so, jog back and forth a couple times
- Do it again while doing knee highs
- or Butt kicks
You can also do stretches like lunges but continuously moving, or toe touches would be great examples.
Static stretches are stretches that you do after your workout. They are the ones that you hold for a certain period of time. These are the stretches that come to mind when you think about stretches. These stretches you want to elongate the muscles where you are pushing yourself but you can still tolerate it. Static stretching after working out can also improve flexibility and range of motion. Static stretching is a way of relaxing your body and to help prevent soreness after your workout as well.
If you need any help with what stretches to do to help with your injuries or to prevent injuries, make an appointment with SF Custom Chiropractic and the chiropractors here will be more than happy to help you!