Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning the importance of a warm-up, not only will it prevent the chance of injury but it can increase performance, endurance, and comfort dramatically.
There are two types of warm-ups Static and Active; Static warm-ups involve raising the core body and muscle temperature by some external means. Active warm-ups, on the other hand, warm the muscles and core temperature by performing small exercise activities, today we’re focussing on the role of stretching inactive warm-ups.
Static and Dynamic Stretching, What’s the Difference?
Remember PE classes? Stretching your muscles, tendons and ligaments and holding tight in the stretched position for 30 seconds and then releasing, is known as static stretching. The goal of these stretches is to release tension, making muscles more pliable and less susceptible to pulls and strains.
Dynamic stretching on the other hand involves movement-based stretching like bodyweight lunges and trunk rotations alongside additional sport-specific agility drills, sprints and shuttle runs, jumping rope, jogging, and other low-impact, light effort exercises. The goal is to prime the body for action, and is recommended before competition and before every workout.
So, What do You Mean Static Stretching Isn’t a Warm Up?
This is where it gets interesting, research has found that while static stretching is very important, it can actually hamper performance if performed before the workout. It relaxes muscles, sapping strength while reducing blood flow and decreasing central nervous system activity. It’s biggest benefits are found when it is used at the end of a workout, to aid recovery.
Dynamic stretches on the other hand, by combining movement and stretching, boost blood flow, activate the central nervous system, and enhance strength, power, and range of motion. As a result, they are very beneficial when done before any workout or exercise.
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