If you struggle with muscular pain during your workout, it might be time to switch up your warm-up routine. Here, we’ll talk about dynamic stretching and how it can help you with your workout.
What is dynamic stretching?
Dynamic stretching is the use of movement to warm up specific muscles, getting them pumped and ready for exercise. It’s different from normal static stretching as it takes movements like squats and lunges and transforms them into stretches.1
Over recent years, dynamic stretching may have overtaken static stretching as it can prepare specific muscles ahead of a workout. It’s performed at a slower pace as preparation for exercise, which means you are looking to stimulate muscles or muscle groups to get them prepared for more intense exercise.
For example, in preparation for a run you may wish to prepare the knees so you may carry out some high knee or squat exercises in preparation.
We’ll go over some stretches, and more specifically the benefits within this article.
What is static stretching?
Static stretching is the movement you would generally attribute to a workout. It can be done at the beginning of a workout as a warmup, although static stretching would be more commonly be done at the end of a workout to warm down the muscles you have used with prolonged stretches.
It works by placing a certain muscle where it can be extended and holding it there for a certain amount of time.2
Dynamic versus static stretching
Both dynamic and static stretching have their place as part of your fitness routine. Typically, dynamic stretching would be something you do at the beginning of your workout as it involves actively working your muscles ahead of exercise.
Often these movements will often stretch the same muscles you will be training in your workout. For example, a swimmer may look to warm up the arms and the runner their legs etc.
Whereas static stretching would usually be carried out at the end of your workout. This involves stretches that you hold in place for long periods of time, with very little movement. This allows your muscles to loosen, while increasing flexibility and range of motion.
When to use dynamic stretching
It’s worth reiterating dynamic stretching should be used as part of a warmup for competitive or non-competitive exercise. Ideally you would do between 5-10 minutes low to moderate intensity dynamic stretching ahead of swimming, jogging, cycling, or any intensive exercise.3
- Dynamic stretching is used as preparation for exercise. There are numerous examples of dynamic stretching that can fully prepare for your chosen exercise.
- Static stretching is still very useful, however it’s more associated with a cool down rather than a warmup.
Sign up for Holland & Barrett NewsLetter
Plus get expert advice to support your health & wellness straight to your inbox when you sign up to Holland & Barrett emails.