Dynamic Stretching 101

Dynamic Stretching 101
Dynamic Stretching 101

What makes dynamic stretching so dynamic?!?! How does dynamic stretching differ from regular stretching?

When it comes to stretching, there are many methods but overall they can be broken down into two basic categories: static and non-static. Static stretching focuses on assuming a fixed position then holding that position for a prolong period of time with little to no movement. Non-static stretching which is also known as dynamic stretching has the element of multidirectional movement. As a runner this is very important; knowing when & how to implement these two types of stretching can improve your performance tremendously. Let’s get you up to speed by reviewing a few simple principles!!!

Modern Fitness defines DYNAMIC STRETCHING as:

a series of systematic & connected exercises designed to prepare an athletes body for physical activity. These exercises are used to increase muscular endurance/strength/flexibility, improve muscular coordination and establish & maintain good muscular function & performance.

ROLE OF MUSCLES

The primary role muscles play is: support the human frame so joints don’t collapse on top of one another. That’s probably important- I’m just saying!!! Secondary role: produce, reduce and control movement in all planes of motion. It’s important for athletes to know that muscles work three-dimensionally. For this reason humans can perform all sorts of amazing movement pattern (amen); therefore, stretching like training only in one direction can produce unwanted muscular imbalances, flexibility or strength deficits which can limit an athletes’ ability to move efficiently.  In other words, our muscles must be long enough to permit normal mobility of the joints and be short enough to contribute effectively to joint stability no matter what we do. This requires adequate elastic tension within the muscle tissue called strength.

Take Home Point:

  1. Muscle flexibility has three primary components: postural alignment, range of joint motion and muscle length which are expressed in degrees of movement.

DESCRIPTION OF DYNAMIC STRETCHING

Dynamic stretching uses the force production of a muscle and the body’s momentum (kinetic energy) to take a joint thru the full available ROM.

BENEFITS OF DYNAMIC STRETCHING

  • Decreased risk of injury
  • Promote better blood flow
  • Prevent the development of muscular imbalances
  • Increased muscular strength
  • Enhanced muscular extensibility & neuromuscular coordination

PRESCRIPTION OF DYNAMIC STRETCHING

Dynamic Stretching – perform dynamic stretching as a warm-up to prepare the body for running | PRE-RUN

  • Hold stretches for 3 to 5 seconds max

Static Stretching – perform static stretching as a cool-down to promote muscle recover after running | POST-RUN

  • Hold stretches for 15 to 20 seconds
  • Caution be gentle with movements and stretches as the muscles are fatigued making tendons/ligaments more susceptible to strain

WARNING – remember that Modern Fitness’ position on dynamic stretching: this is a form of exercise. The idea is to train the body not drain the body. Don’t do too much to fast – your body likes new things to be introduced slowly and consistently.

EXAMPLES OF DYNAMIC STRETCHING

  • All Fours – opposite knee and hand touch raise. (25 reps per side)
  • Push Up Pose – opposite side to side hand touch. (30 touches)
  • Bridge Knees 90/90- lift hips while straightening one leg. (12 reps)
  • Bridge Knees Straight – lift hips off ground. (12 reps)
  • Hands on Wall – leg swings front to back. (25 reps)
  • Walking Lunge with Twist – alternating legs twisting arms across front leg. (20 steps)
  • Walking RDL – alternating legs reaching down to the ground while kicking trail leg up. (20 steps)
  • Hop Matrix – hop out to one leg balance then return to start and repeat in all three directions of movement: forward, diagonal, lateral and 90 degree turn. (3 times)
  • Mountain Climbers – hands on the floor running in place for 30 sec rest for 10 repeat 3 times.

It’s important to remember that your fitness level will determine how many sets (once or twice) you should repeat this routine before running.

This is an example of a short 5 to 8 minute routine equivalent to performing a 1-mile warm up. Note – this is just an example there are a variety of options which can be customized to fit your level as a runner.

Hopefully you too will arrive at the idea that dynamic stretching is a valuable tool for runners as Melvin and I believe it to be!

Hope you all enjoy this information presented on Dynamic Stretching. If you want more information about Dynamic Stretching let me know

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4 thoughts on “Dynamic Stretching 101

  1. I’ve discovered a program that raises metabolic rate to training levels while balancing VO2max in all muscles equally and dynamically stretching them thru their ROM, you might be interested in checking it out at http://www.HealthQuiz.wordpress.com
    Feel free to let me know what you think, Suzanna

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