Stretching Dynamic vs Static…what’s the difference?

Back in high school our coaches always made up “stretch” and warm up before activities.  Sometimes we held and other times we bounced.  What is the difference?


Stretching Dynamic vs Static…what’s the difference? - Fotolia stretching


What is Dynamic Stretching?Dynamic stretches are stretches such as leg swings, high knees, and arm swings. The idea behind dynamic stretching is that it stretches the muscle actively, by doing a movement rather than holding a position. There is little evidence that dynamic stretching does anything to improve sporting performance.

What is Static Stretching? Static stretching is when you hold a stretch for about 20-30seconds. Static Stretching has often been the go-to for warming up. Most people who have played any kind of sport have done hamstring stretches, or the classic “grab your foot behind you” quad stretch. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that static stretching improves sporting performance. In fact, it actually makes the stretched muscle weaker for about 15 minutes.

With all that being said, another study has shown that athletes doing whatever they perceived to be significant for warmups, even if there was zero actual evidence that it helped, helped them perform better. So, the Placebo Effect really does work!

Ultimately, if you enjoy stretching or feel it helps you, then go for it! Just don’t over-do it and try to stack it at the front end of your warm up so that by the time you get to the actual activity, any potential muscle weakening has worn off.

Andrew Vertson

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