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Stretching: Dynamic or Static

Stretching is very important and is beneficial in numerous ways for a variety of populations, to include geriatrics, athletes participating in sport-specific activities and for person’s undergoing rehabilitation.

Stretching Benefits:

  • Injury prevention
  • Improves athletic performances
  • Increases ROM
  • Facilitates tissue repair

Although an important part of fitness, many avoid stretching for a multitude of reasons, i.e., limited time, discomfort with stretching, fear of injuring themselves, lack of education/understanding of appropriate stretches to perform.

There are 2 forms of stretching: static and dynamic. Static refers to no movement/stationary, whereas dynamic refers to movement/change of motion.  In general, studies have indicated that static stretching is usually performed after activity to avoid inhibiting muscle activity needed for performance; and dynamic stretching, which mimics motions as part of a specific activity, is performed prior to the activity as a means of pre-activity warm-up.


Dynamic:  Front and back leg swings would be performed to increase blood flow and hamstring flexibility before running as this motion mimics running.

Static:  Seated hamstring stretch to increase tissue extensibility would be appropriate after recreational walking or running after the tissue has already been warmed up.

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