let’s talk about….
… the differences between static and dynamic stretching
It’s called static stretching, when at least one muscle is held in an extended position for a longer time span. Normally, we talk about something between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Dynamic stretching does not involve this holding, at least not for anything longer than 10 seconds. It’s dynamic. It involves movement, thus alowing for bigger amplitude and it can be a repetitive movement.
… the basic ideas of warming up
We warm up to prepare the body for the movements to come by increasing the blood flow and building up some tension in the muscles – not only the bigger, main ones, but also the smaller ones that mostly stabilize joints. This is critical to prevent injuries and to allow for quicker movements. It’s pretty much never talked about, but ligaments behave in an interesting way. with increasing force, theyl stretch linearly until a specific threshold when they stop stretching (almost) at all. That’s when the force from the muscle is transfered. WIth the added tension in the muscles, pre-stretching the ligaments, it’s easier to add stability to the joints and to transfer the power qicker, allowing for faster movement.
… dynamic stretching before exercise/as part of a warm up
This doesnt pull the muscles in any different way, than actual movement, mostly activating some smaller muscles, but also “reminding” the joints and muscles of movement that’s possible.
… static stretching before exercise
It pulls the musscles a loong time, pulling out the tension. That’s not a problem, as long as you warm up properly (again) afterwards. Even though there’s a lot of research on that, there’s absolutely no evidence that this has any positive effect like the prevention of injuries or better results. Luckily, it doesn’t seem to have negative effects either.
… why you should do a throughout static stretching routine regulaly
First of all, this should not be done on overused muscles, after an intense workout, on sore muscles and certainly not on injured muscles. Static stretching is for healthy muscles! It can be done after a slow cardio/recovery workout or before exercising, if you warm up properly* afterwards.
Most of you will think about mobility training, but while I do belive that there’s some positive effects, at least in some areas, I think there’s not any prove that it’s better than dynamic stretching. My memory might be blurred on that, because it doesn’t matter. The most significant effect (in my opinion) is that it has been shown that regulat static stretching causes the body to strengthen the z-disks inside the sarcomere which then leads to a more resilient muscle that’s less prone to injury.
Depending on the stretching muscles you use, it also trains the intermuscular coordination, but… just hire me as a coach if you wanna go that deep.
*this means you’d need roughly 2 hours (or even more) before starting to exercise – short 20 minute warm up – roughly one hour full body stretching – 40 minutes throughout warmup