#ThursdayTherapy: Static vs Dynamic Stretching

Static vs dynamic stretching EP Sports Therapist Becky explains what the difference is…

What is a static stretch?

This stretch involves elongating the muscle and holding it there for a period of time, such as the common calf stretch by placing the foot behind you, or standing knee bend quad stretch.

What is a dynamic stretch?

This stretch uses movement and momentum of the limb or trunk to move the muscle between ranges. An example of dynamic stretching for the hamstrings is when you see someone swinging the leg forwards and backwards through the hamstrings range of movement.

Pic from viberehab-blog.com

Which is better?

There’s no real answer, and it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. It’s believed by some that static stretching can effect your performance by decreasing your muscles strength and power prior to exercise, but the effects have been proven to be very small so unless you are a high level athlete you’re unlikely to feel these negative effects. Instead dynamic stretching is thought to be better for pre exercise activity as it may be more specific to sport to take your muscles through range as you do throughout exercise. However when focusing on muscle flexibility and range its generally believed static stretching is the preferred method.

Stretching or warm ups should generally be guided by which exercise you are going to partake in, and as always should work for you and what you are comfortable with/used to. A mix of both dynamic and static would seem to be as good an option as any, with static being used between sessions to work on flexibility and dynamic being use pre-workout to warm up.

For any advice on stretching, ways in which you can stretch different muscles or appointments for rehab and/or injury advice drop an email to energisedbecky@gmail.com