What is the Difference Between Dynamic Stretching and Static Stretching?

By Brandon Cohen, SPT

Dynamic stretching and static stretching both provide different benefits during different points in your workout. Knowing the difference between the two, and the benefits of each, can help you maximize your workout experience.

Dynamic Stretch

Example of woman doing Dynamic Stretch

Dynamic stretching is a stretch performed by moving through a challenging but comfortable range of motion repeatedly with controlled, smooth, and deliberate movements. Examples of this are a lunge with a twisting motion at the trunk or leg swings. Dynamic stretching should be used prior to performing exercise or sport because it helps to prepare the joints for optimal movement and the muscles for optimal activation. The main benefit of using dynamic stretching just before a sporting event or fitness routine is that, dynamic stretches use motions similar to those that an athlete undertakes, they effectively simulate a performance experience. By doing this they can effectively help to warm up your muscles prior to exercise in order to decrease the chance of injury.

Static Stretch

Static stretching is a stretch held in a challenging but comfortable position for a period of time, usually somewhere between 10 to 30 seconds up to a total of 60 seconds. Static stretching is the most common form of stretching found in general fitness and is considered safe and effective for improving overall flexibility. Static stretching should be used after exercise or sport while the muscles are warm because you can focus on specific muscles which will help to increase flexibility in the specific tissue. Performing these prior to exercise can actually inhibit the muscles ability to fire. Static stretching is the most common form of stretching found in general fitness and is considered safe and effective for improving overall flexibility after performing exercise because the muscles have already been warmed up.

Looking for the proper dynamic and static stretches to boost your workouts? Contact our qualified therapists at Capital Area Physical Therapy & Wellness ! Call one of our physical therapy clinics in Malta – Saratoga Springs at (518) 289-5242 or in Queensbury – Glens Falls at (518) 502-1154 to schedule an appointment!