6 Best Static and Dynamic Stretching to Increase Flexibility

Static and dynamic stretching

Are Static and Dynamic Stretching The Same?

Static and dynamic stretching is not the same type. One is often done during post-workout, while the other one is done during pre-workout. And one is done in stationary stretching, while the other is done in a motion stretching.

Static Vs Dynamic Stretching

Static stretching

Static stretching is consists of stretches that you hold in a singular motion position (sit, stand, lie still on your back) for 30 seconds to 1 minute.   Static stretches are deep, slow movements.  Examples of static stretch are hamstring stretch, adductor stretch, piriformis stretch, and calf stretch. Static stretching usually performs after workout or cooldown phase.

The reason this is normally done after a workout because you want to stretch your muscle to increase blood flow and decrease muscle tension after your intense workout.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching is a movement-based stretching.  A dynamic stretch is usually done part of your warm-up routine before your workout.  Examples of dynamic stretch are trunk twist, walking lunge, lateral lunge walk, and leg swing against the wall.  You see many athletes will swing their legs, or run laterally during their warmup.

Why Are You Sore After Workout?

Athletes feel sore after their intense workout is due to Delay Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).  You typically feel sore within 12-72 hours following your exercises.  The degree of soreness and duration of soreness determine by the intensity of your exercise.

In the past, we mistakenly thought that waste metabolism (lactic acid) build-up from exercise caused soreness after exercise. But we’re wrong, in fact, lactic acid has nothing to do with DOMS.  Lactic acid buildup during aerobic and anaerobic activities, both occurs during strenuous activity.  The buildup of lactic acid will slow down muscle contraction, and lead to decrease performance peak.

Why Are You Sore?

The reason why your muscle sore is due to microtrauma to the muscle. Your muscle went through eccentric (lengthening) and concentric (shortening) muscle actions during activities such as jumping, running down the court, changing speed, passing, and grabbing rebounds.  During such actions, your muscle is under a high force which causes damage to interior muscle structure and connecting tissue.

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Once these microtrauma or tears occur, your body will go to the recovery phase for the muscles involved, and this is when DOMS takes place.

How Can You Help Reduce Muscle Soreness or Decrease DOMS?

Self-massage such as foam roller exercise can help reduce muscle soreness.  Stretching also helps decrease muscle soreness.   Dynamic and static stretching is utilized to help athletes reduce DOMS.

Static and Dynamic Stretching Benefits

Even though both static and dynamic stretching are both stretching exercises, but there are some similar and major differences with both.  How to choose which stretching you’re supposed to do is determine from your target benefit from the stretch and the type of activity.

Benefits of Static Stretching?

  • Increase blood flow to the muscles to increase recovery time
  • Improve overall performance with increased flexibility and range of motion of muscles
  • Decrease muscle soreness
  • Decrease overstretch injury from a tight muscle
  • Release stress and relax tension in your muscle

Benefits of Dynamic Stretching?

  • Increase blood flow and warm up your muscles and tendons
  • According to research, dynamic stretching improves performance by preparing your muscles in the events of movements it requires. This increases the response of your muscle reaction that will be required during the game or activity.
  • Increase the flexibility of specific muscles for specific movements during a sport or exercise.
  • Prepare your mentality for the specific movement or exercise in order to avoid stiffness, and to avoid injury.

Static Stretching to Include In Your Workout

1. PSOAS STRETCH

  • Psoas muscle is one of the major hip flexors
  • psoas stretch will lessen the resistance of the hip extensor muscles when your hip is in hip extension during vertical jump.
  • Here are the steps for Psoas stretch
    • Get down to lunge position with the back knee on the floor
    • Make sure your forward knee line up with your ankle
    • Tighten your buttock (gluteus) muscle
    • Drive your hip forward
    • Hold in position for 30 seconds to 1 minute
    • repeat the above steps on the other side

2. GLUTEUS MAX STRETCH

  • Gluteus max is one of the major hip extensors
  • Gluteus max stretch will lessen resistance to hip flexor when your hip in flexion position during vertical jump
  • Here are the steps for Gluteus max stretch
    • Sit down, cross one foot over the other leg
    • Bring your heel up to your opposite hip
    • Hug your knee by using the opposite elbow over the knee
    • Bring your knee closer to your chest
    • You should feel stretch in you buttock region
    • Hold in position for 30 seconds to 1 minute
    • Repeat the above steps on the other side

3. PIRIFORMIS STRETCH

  • Piriformis helps external rotation of the hip and abduction of the thigh
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  • Piriformis stretch will lessen resistance to hip rotators muscles
  • Here are the steps for Lying Piriformis Stretch
    • You will be laying on your back on the floor
    • Cross your left leg over your right leg with left ankle resting on your right knee (you knee should be a figure 4 position)
    • Wrap both hands around your right thigh
    • Slowly left your right foot off the floor and bring your right knee toward your chest
    • You will start to feel stretch on the left buttock (piriformis muscle)
    • Hold in position for 30 seconds to 1 minute
    • Repeat the above steps on the other side

4. HAMSTRING STRETCH

  • Hamstring helps Flexion of the knee and extension of the hip
  • Hamstring stretch will lessen resistance to hip flexion
  • Here are the steps for the Hamstring stretch
    • Sit on the floor with left leg out straight
    • Bend your right leg to bring your right foot closer to the left inner thigh
    • Reach both arms out toward your left leg
    • You can place both hands on the floor next to your left straight leg or place both hands-on your left foot
    • Bend at your waist as far as you can reach
    • You should feel stretch on your left hamstring
    • Hold in position for 30 seconds to 1 minute
    • Repeat the above steps on the other side

5. QUADRICEPS (QUAD) STRETCH

  • Quad muscle is one of the main hip flexors
  • Quad stretch will lessen the resistance during hip extension
  • Here are the steps for Quad Stretch
    • Stand on your feets
    • Bend your left foot and use your left hand to bring your left foot toward your left buttock
    • Make sure your left knee is pointing straight down toward the floor and keep your both knee close together
    • Gently pull your foot closer to your buttock
    • You should feel the stretch on the front thigh
    • Hold in position for 30 seconds to 1 minute
    • You can gently hold on to a chair or a wall to keep your balance
    • Repeat the above steps on the other side

6. TRICEPS OVERHEAD STRETCH

  • Triceps stretch help lessen the resistance during forearm extension
  • Here are the steps for Triceps Overhead Stretch
    • Stand with your feet hip-width apart or seated position
    • Reach your right arm up toward the ceiling, bend your right elbow while bringing your right palm as close to the center of your back. (your fingers should be facing the ground)
    • Reach your left arm across overhead to your right elbow
    • Gently pull slight pressure to your right elbow to assist in the stretch
    • Hold in position for 30 seconds to 1 minute
    • Breath through your stretch and repeat on the other side

Dynamic Stretching Examples

Dynamic stretching is usually done in 10-15 repetitions per set. The exercise is done in pain-free, and a large space may be needed for most of the exercise.

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1. LEG CIRCLES

  • Standing on both leg, shoulder-width apart
  • Shift your weight to one leg, while you abduct one leg out to the side (approximately 45°), you can stand near a wall or a chair to help with you balance
  • Start to rotate your leg clockwise for 10-15 times
  • Now Rotation your leg counterclockwise for 10-15 times
  • Repeat for the other leg
  • Make sure you actively activate your core muscle during the movements. You can easily do this by actively contracting your abdominal muscle

2. LEG SWING

  • Forward Leg Swing
    • You stand next to a pole, fence, or wall for support, with one hand placed on the support, make sure you have plenty of space around you for your forward leg swing
    • Make sure you stand up straight, the torso is nice and tall without rotation
    • Start to swing your leg forward as high as you can go, make sure you don’t go beyond your limit because you may cause overstretch injury.
    • Bring your leg back to down next to your supporting leg, and forward. Repeat for 10-15 times
    • Make sure you maintain a steady movement
    • Make sure you actively activate your core muscle during the movements. You can easily do this by actively contracting your abdominal muscle
  • Backward Leg Swing
    • Same as above, but instead, you swing your leg backward as far as you can.
    • Make sure you don’t swing past your limit, maintain your torso straight without rotation during your swing
    • repeat for 10-15 times
    • Some instruction will incorporate both forward and backward swing in one exercise, but we separate it into two separate exercises to avoid rotation of your trunk during the forward and backward leg swing
    • Make sure you actively activate your core muscle during the movements. You can easily do this by actively contracting your abdominal muscle
  • Lateral Leg Swing
    • Stand in front of a pole, fence, or wall with both hands holding for support. Make sure you have enough space for lateral leg swing
    • Start to bring your leg out to your side (abduction of the hip) as far as you can, make sure it is pain-free motion
    • Bring your leg back next to your leg and repeat 10-15 times.
    • Make sure you actively activate your core muscle during the movements. You can easily do this by actively contracting your abdominal muscle

3. LUNGE STRETCH

  • Stand with both feet shoulder-width apart
  • Lunge forward with your left leg, keep your knee directly above your ankle, make sure your knee not past your ankle
  • You should feel the stretch on your right hip flexors, maker sure your trunk is facing forward, no rotation during the lunge
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  • Hold for 2-3 seconds, push or step back with your left leg and return to starting position
  • Lunge forward with your right leg, and repeat the same steps above for 10-15 steps forward
  • If you have a knee problem, history of a knee injury, or pain during the lunge, you can decrease the repetition to 5-10 times
  • If you’re still experiencing pain in the knee, stop the stretch and see your doctor first before you continue with the exercise

4.  LATERAL LUNGE STRETCH

  • Stand with both feet shoulder-width apart
  • Lunge or step to the left side, with pressure on the left heel, keep your knee above your ankle during the lunge
  • Hold for 2-3 seconds, push or step back with your left feet back to the starting position
  • Lunge or step to the right side, repeat the same steps above for 10-15 times total
  • If you have a knee problem, history of a knee injury, or pain during the lunge, you can decrease the repetition to 5-10 times
  • If you’re still experiencing pain in the knee, stop the stretch and see your doctor first before you continue with the exercise

5. ARM CIRCLE

  • Standing or sitting, with both arms raise 45° to the side,
  • Slowly circle your arms clockwise for 10-15 times
  • Slowly circle your arm counterclockwise for 10-15 times
  • Maintain an upward right posture

6. TRUNK ROTATION

  • Standing with both feet shoulder-width apart
  • Place both hands on your hip
  • Start to slowly rotate your hip clockwise for 10-15 times, your knee is straight, maintain an upward right posture
  • Now counterclockwise for 10-15 times

Summary

Static and dynamic stretching are great stretching routine your need to incorporate in your daily life.  We spend more time in a sedentary position and we lost the flexibility in your body.  The static and dynamic stretching exercises in this article help you maintain flexibility, improves performance, increase blood flow to the muscles, decrease injury, and decrease muscle soreness after exercise.

If you have any further question, feel free to leave a comment below, and we will answer to our best knowledge.  If you’re experiencing pain during the exercises above, and the pain continues, stop the exercises and see your doctor before you continue with the exercise.

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  5. Lower Cross Syndrome: Does It Cause Lower Back Pain?
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