Benefits of Dynamic Stretching

What is dynamic stretching? 

…stretching muscles while you are moving. Static stretching refers to stretching muscles while you are not moving, such as standing in place and reaching down to touch your toes.

How can static stretching weaken your muscles?

…by straining “cold” muscles. Gretchen Reynolds’ article in the New York Times, Stretching:  The Truth cites several university studies that explain exactly how static stretching weakens your muscles when used to warm up before exercise.

How does dynamic stretching benefit you more than static stretching? Before dynamic stretching you should do a brief, several minute, aerobic routine such as jumping rope to get the blood flowing to your muscles.  Dynamic stretching imitates movement and further warms up the muscles.  Ideally the dynamic stretches you do should imitate the movement of the sport you are about to perform.

Dynamic Stretches Before Running Runner’s World’s A Dynamic Routine – Stretch Safely Before you Run includes a video and written summaries of six pre-run dynamic stretches.

Dynamic Stretches that Help Relieve Sciatica Pain

If you sit many hours or don’t have strong core muscles, you can develop lower back pain or sciatica pain. Dynamic stretches such as Toy Soldiers (kicking each leg up to meet your opposite hand while walking exaggeratedly) loosen tight hamstrings, which can help relieve this pain.  So can dynamic stretches that loosen the muscles near the hip such as Coach Nick Tuminello demonstrates in his video Dynamic Mobility Warm Up for the Hips.

Trainer Casey Garrison Garrison, House of Power gym owner, specializes in training explosive athletes in sports such as baseball, track, football, and hockey.  As part of his training he teaches all of his athletes how to use dynamic stretches to warm up and explains their benefits in the accompanying video.  

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