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Dynamic vs. Static Stretches: The Importance of Both

September 11, 2013

This post was written by Tiana Yom, MPH, CHES

Fall is coming, which means crisp autumn weather perfect for taking a walk or run outside! But don’t forget to stretch before you get moving and when you’re done.

Are your muscles sore or stiff after exercise? That slight pain and discomfort is called Delayed Onset Muscle Syndrome (DOMS). Pre- and post-workout stretches are crucial in preventing DOMS, cramps, and muscle fatigue. There are two types of stretches you can perform – dynamic and static, both of which are useful and beneficial to your muscles and body.

Dynamic stretching involves movements that more closely resemble what the body does during sports activities, but without a lot of bouncing For example, wide arm circles, hip swings, and leg kicks. Dynamic stretches are usually performed before a workout with the goal to “wake up” the muscles.

Static stretching is used to improve flexibility and is generally done while the body is at rest, by stretching to a point of tension and holding that stretch for a few seconds to a couple of minutes. These stretches, which include touching one’s toes and standing lunges, are usually performed at the end of a workout.

For more information, read Mayo Clinic’s article on Stretching.

What are your favorite dynamic and static stretches?

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