What is dynamic stretching?

The use of controlled swinging movements through the full range of motion of a limb in order to warm up or increase flexibility is the shortest answer to the buzzing question. For instance, a limb is extended to its constraint and reinforced with a type of bounce-loaded motion.

People who have always practiced static stretching may be puzzled about the new groundbreaking method of stretching called dynamic stretching. So what is dynamic stretching all about?

It is a series of active movements of muscles that bring forth a stretch but are not held in the end position. By contrast, its opposite-static stretching consists of stretching in which the position is held for certain amount of time.

But studies show that holding a muscle in an elongated, fixed position, for a period of 30 seconds or more, could hurt performance if done before a workout. So, save the static stretching for much later.

What is the benefit of dynamic stretching?

The benefit is that muscle fibers and connective tissues such as tendons or ligaments will gain more flexibility and range of motion as proper blood flow reaches the working area. Many studies progressively show that dynamic stretching can help increase power, improve flexibility and increase your range of motion.

When you put your body through a series of dynamic stretches, it sends signals from the brain to the muscle fibers and connective tissues preparing the area for work.  

Your temperature begins to rise and there is a surge of blood in the working areas of the body. Getting good blood flow to the area of the active muscles is critical in order to supply the area with energy needed for workout. 


What is the best timing for dynamic stretching?

Dynamic stretching’s best timing is right after your light warm-up and before your intense workout.  If you squeeze it in-between you are going to feel much stronger and work up to a heavier load.  Another thing to remember here is that dynamic stretching is sport and movement specific. 

You can change the types of movements you do in the dynamic warm-up dependent upon what the work load is going to be for the day. If you do air squats at the beginning of the warm up, you will probably feel beaten up.

But after doing a light warm-up and working on the movements which mimic and simulate squatting, your actual squat will be effortless and will flow much smoother. So, dynamic stretching is a prerogative for your good performance and for setting you up for the current workload.

What is dynamic stretching warm-up?

After you have done a mild warm-up consisting of inch worms or rowing or running or walking or other goodies in order to get your body temperature rising, you can do some mobilizing dynamic warm-ups. Good examples are air squats, leg kicks, lunges and jump squats. 

This series of dynamic movements would be great for setting you up to do a strength series of squats, dead-lifts or split-squats.