Dynamic Stretching Vs Static Stretching

Dynamic Stretching Vs Static Stretching: Which Type Works Best for You

There’s a lot of debate raging on and offline today, pitting static against dynamic stretching, further classified within the fitness category. Our gym in San Diego receives a flurry of questions to this end. Is static stretching really any good and isn’t it like really old school? Adding to the variety of these queries, based on an individual’s activity level or goal, we’ve also received several requests for tips on how to slim the physique. All these reveals how fitness enthusiasts are becoming more knowledge-hungry.

Do people use it anymore? 

How about dynamic stretching, how does it trump static stretching? Which one is great for athletes, strength training, or even for someone looking to consume their protein shake alongside a workout regime designed to gain some healthy muscle weight? With so much misinformation out there, we thought it right to clear the air, and offer some practical tips, with this comprehensive guide that will finally put to bed any questions swirling in your mind about dynamic and static stretching.

But first, what’s dynamic or static stretching anyway? For instance, in the realm of a balanced fitness plan that incorporates both weights and cardio, where does stretching fit? Can these forms of exercises help the fitness enthusiasts to slim down or bulk up, especially in terms of muscle growth and size increase?

Static stretching, as the name implies, is all about stretching in place for 30 to 60 seconds, with little to no movement, other than tweaks based on your activity level, to increase the range of the muscle group you’re stretching. If you need an example, many yoga asanas or poses, e.g., the cobra stance, count as static stretching exercises. Other common ones include:

  • Shoulder stretches
  • Hamstring stretches
  • Upper back stretches
  • And calf stretches, to name a few.

Despite their limited range of motion, static stretches often get a bad rep, although our personal trainer San Diego agrees that, while they might not be the most ideal exercises for those looking to slim down quickly, they do have their uses. For example, they play an essential role in a holistic approach to health that includes a balanced diet, proper nutrition, and regular consumption of protein shake for muscle growth.

On the flip side, dynamic stretching packs a lot more mobility and movement, bringing several muscle groups into action, making them a popular option for athletes or adults who want to stay slim, and anyone who needs to maintain an optimal activity level. Concisely put, it’s any movement-based stretching.

Dynamic stretching exercises that can enhance muscle tone and help you stay slim include:

  • Jump lunges
  • Jump Squats
  • T-push ups
  • High kicks
  • Knee to chest, etc

As we proceed towards the business end of our discussion, let’s delve into the benefits of one over the other.

Pros of Dynamic Stretching over static stretching

As far as soccer-related activities, and preparation for sports at large, are concerned, dynamic stretching is the way to go. These are not only effective for athletes but also for adults who aim to slim down. They are great at getting your muscles in the mood, helping you to rehearse movements you’ll be performing in action.

Dynamic stretching tends to pack a lot more intensity and is great at getting your body to that “working temperature” that gets the blood pumping and enables you to hit the ground running. Static stretching, on the other hand, might not serve as the best slimming down strategy, but they aren’t really great as a standalone pre-workout routine when seeking to gain muscle growth or improve cardiovascular health.

  1. Raises core temperature better to lower injury risk 

Due to its focus on movement, dynamic stretching offers a blend of cardio and weights, leading to a lower risk of injury because your body, whether you aim to bulk up or slim down, is ready to take on the increased workload.

2. Better for tackling high-intensity workouts

If your fitness goal is to slim down, high-intensity workouts are an excellent option. A high-intensity workout saps a lot out of you, and dynamic stretching can ensure you’re better prepared both mentally and physically. These hormones can bolster attention and focus, which is also one reason why dynamic stretching tends to lower your injury risk better.
Moreover, from a physical standpoint, findings from the JSCR link dynamic stretching to improvements in muscle flexibility and overall performance. Dynamic stretching can also alleviate muscle stiffness and thus lower soreness levels after a highly intense workout, such as the ones involving HIIT, which is great news for those focused on gaining muscle. Such exercises can also help with weight gain goals by increasing your fat-burning potential during workouts. It’s interesting to note that these exercises help address the fatigue that can often come with a calorie surplus, especially when a diet high in metabolism-boosting foods like red meat and protein-dense foods like seeds and peanut butter, is involved.

How static stretching comes out on top

Believe it or not, static stretching can have its benefits too, and any competent personal trainer in San Diego won’t rule them out entirely. They still work well to alleviate muscle tightness, with this often linked to decreased strength and performance during workouts. In addition to these clear benefits, static stretching exercises can position your muscles to handle the breakdown of lactic acid and cortisol more efficiently. Here’s what they bring to the table over dynamic stretching exercises:

  • Agility
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Muscular endurance
  • Power

Are you a not-so-serious fitness hopeful looking to improve your movement for daily life? While you shouldn’t skimp entirely on dynamic stretches, static stretches are a great method to put some exercise in if you don’t fancy a rigorous pre-workout. They can help to shape your muscles, making them limber, and thus reduce injury risk from everyday tasks involving movements like spreading peanut butter on a slice of bread or planting seeds in your garden.

If you’re beat after a long day at work and experiencing fatigue, static stretches are an excellent option to relax while checking on your muscles. Adding surpluses of protein powders, red meat, and even seeds or peanut butter to your diet can also aid in muscle recovery and support your health goals.

2. They are great at improving posture

  1. Less intense hence easier to perform

You may have heard it enough times, parents telling their kids to sit or stand up straight, and they were just looking out for them we can attest. Any San Diego fitness expert will tell you that your alignment plays a big role in the durability and effectiveness of your posture. Correct position during static stretches can provide relief from cortisol-induced muscle breakdown. They can provide guidance for calorie counting and diet as well, to optimize your workouts and reach your goals.

Static stretch can improve proper alignment, which has been shown to decrease tension in your tendons and ligaments. Additionally, with a better posture, muscle activation becomes easier and more pain-free. So, if one of your goals is to naturally rectify a poor posture, static stretches are a safe bet to remedy your slouching. Just like incorporating seeds and peanut butter in your diet can make a positive change, making static stretches part of your routine can help improve your posture.

When to use dynamic stretching and static stretching

Stretching is important no doubt, and every San Diego Personal Trainer will insist that you shouldn’t begin any workout without setting aside the time to get your muscles positioned and warmed up. Before any heavy lifting, sports, or intense workouts, perform dynamic stretches as static stretching doesn’t really warm up muscles.

  • Tendons
  • Ligaments
  • And Muscles

If you’re looking to put in some quick stretching at work, perhaps during a brief lunch break, but don’t want to work up a sweat and ruin your attire, static stretching is quite ideal. It’s also the way to go if you’re targeting a certain group of muscles that you notice feel particularly tense. What’s more, static stretching can make up a great part of your post-workout routine, when you’re dealing with surplus energy breakdown and cortisol-related fatigue but want to banish the soreness.

There you have the lowdown on what static and dynamic stretches bring to the table. Every type has its benefits, and while we won’t point to a winner or loser, it’s safe to say you need to incorporate both static and dynamic stretching in your routine depending on your workout goals, how much time you can spare, and if you have underlying injuries holding your back. Don’t forget to combine these exercise routines with nutrient-rich foods like seeds and peanut butter for optimal results. Ultimately, you’ll need to talk to an expert for advice on the best path forward, and our personal trainer San Diego is just the person to turn to. Reach out to us for inquiries!


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