Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching

There has been an on-going debate for years on whether or not static stretching is better for you, or if dynamic stretching is superior. To settle this debate we need to know a little bit more about each style of stretching!

Static Stretching

“Static stretching means a stretch is held in a challenging but comfortable position for a period of time, usually somewhere between 10 to 30 seconds. Static stretching is the most common form of stretching found in general fitness and is considered safe and effective for improving overall flexibility. However, many experts consider static stretching much less beneficial than dynamic stretching for improving range of motion for functional movement, including sports and activities for daily living.”                                                        -

Dynamic Stretching

“Dynamic stretching means a stretch is performed by moving through a challenging but comfortable range of motion repeatedly, usually 10 to 12 times. Although dynamic stretching requires more thoughtful coordination than static stretching (because of the movement involved), it is gaining favor among athletes, coaches, trainers, and physical therapists because of its apparent benefits in improving functional range of motion and mobility in sports and activities for daily living.

Note that dynamic stretching should not be confused with old-fashioned ballistic stretching (remember the bouncing toe touches from PE classes?). Dynamic stretching is controlled, smooth, and deliberate, whereas ballistic stretching is uncontrolled, erratic, and jerky. Although there are unique benefits to ballistic stretches, they should be done only under the supervision of a professional because, for most people, the risks of ballistic stretching far outweigh the benefits.”


Which is Better?

As sited above, Human Kinetics does a great job of describing what each style of stretching is and how to execute it. I believe that there is not a superior style of stretching, i think they should both be used as tools in a stretching routine. Static stretching is good for loosening the tightness in muscles on a recovery day, whereas dynamic stretching would yield more beneficial pre-workout. I encourage you to try both styles and experiment with them both!



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