Posted on: Apr 26th, 2017 by The Physio Movement | Categories: Sports Medicine & Nutrition

Static stretching is lengthening the muscle to the point of slight discomfort and holding it for a length of time generally around 30-60 seconds

Dynamic stretching is defined as gently moving the muscle through a range of movement that exceeds its normal length with the aid of momentum.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching has been shown time and time again to have better results before activities strongly favoring a power component. This is because dynamic stretching takes the muscles through a similar movement to the performance, helping the muscle to achieve better muscle pre-activation and proprioception compared to that of static, which been shown to have either no affect on performance and sometimes detrimental effects. This has lead to the decline of a static warm-up component in many areas such as sprinting, jumping events, and football/soccer.
To best achieve this kick-start to the muscles before an event its important to have the dynamic stretches copy movements that would be seen often within the sport, think hurdlers vs discuss throwers, one would have greater emphasis on the lower-body compared to that having an emphasis on the upper.

Static Stretching

So performance aside, static stretching is still more beneficial for improving flexibility, but it would best be done as a separate activity. Returning to functional range of motion due to a condition also will be benefitted by specific static stretching intervention, but best outcomes are associated with a multifaceted approached rather then a stand-alone intervention.

Which Stretch Is The Best?

Disregarding both extremes of hyper flexibility and inflexibility, the question of does a dynamic stretch warm-up decrease the likelihood of injury is still at a point, which can neither be proved nor disproved. While in some sports a greater degree on flexibility is desired such as gymnastics, there isn’t a known threshold for optimal performance and is there a compromise on the joints integrity. Where’s in running a less flexible ankle can be seen to be more desirable.
So at the end of the day a well-rounded warm-up consisting of specific dynamic stretches will give you more bang for your buck in the ways of performance, and whilst it may not prevent you from getting an injury that isn’t to say it will be increase the chances.

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