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Dynamic vs. Static Stretching

Unsure when to stretch or what type of stretches are best for your running or sports performance and injury prevention?  The timing of the type of stretches you do is an important consideration for your stretching routine.  Dynamic stretching prior to running or sports activity is a great way to warm up your body, prepare you for optimal performance, and reduce your chance of injury.  Alternatively, static stretches are best performed after activity to increase your flexibility.

What is dynamic stretching?  Dynamic stretching is a repetitive series of movements designed to take the joints and muscles into a challenged position, while gradually increasing the amount of movement.   These movements should be specific to the type of activity you are performing.

Here are 4 dynamic stretches to try before running (try 10 repetitions on each side):

  1. Leg Swings
  2. Inch Worms
  3. Lunges with Rotation
  4. Knee to Chest

Click for videos of these dynamic stretches.

What is static stretching?  Static stretches are stretches that elongate a muscle in a comfortable position for a period of time, usually around 30 seconds.

Try these 3 static stretches after you run (hold 30 seconds 3 times on each side):

  1. Hip Flexor Stretch
  2. Hamstring Stretch
  3. Calf Stretch on Step

It is important not to overstretch when performing dynamic or static stretches.   Stretching should not be painful!

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