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Dynamic vs Static Stretching

by Demi Bogg on Thursday 1 November 2018


You've probably heard that warming up and cooling down before and after you work out is crucial for preventing injury, improving performance and assisting recovery. 

But did you know that the type of warm-up you do can differ pre and post-game?  

Here we look at the difference between dynamic and static stretching and why they are important before and after a workout. 

Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching is taking your body through a range of motion that will prepare your body for the workout or sporting activity to come. It is a safe way to loosen up the muscles and joints and increase the heart rate to supply those lovely muscles with the oxygen and nutrients they need to perform at their best. 

It’s a great, effective and potentially fun way to warm up and prevent injury. Try the dynamic stretches below.  

Roll down walk outs 
Stand tall, roll down unstacking vertebrae and walk out into a plank, shoulders over wrists, walk hands back to feet and stand talk rolling through one vertebrae at a time.

Dynamic lunges 
Take a wide stance, shift from leg to leg, knee tracking over toes, keeping bottom back and down. Twist torso over the leg that is planted forward to really work the whole body. 

Static stretching

Static stretching is a deep slow stretch held in one place for a minimum of 10 and anywhere up to 30 seconds. Great to do if you are cooling down after a workout, trying to progressively increase your range of motion and general and specific flexibility, or if you’re just starting out in your fitness journey and just want to take it easy.  

Try the static stretches below.  

Child’s pose  
Kneel down on a mat, knees apart and toes together, stretch arms out long in front of you and you take your hips to your toes.Push back through your hips and reach through finger tips. Great for releasing the hips, thighs, ankles and shoulders.  

Quad stretch 
In a kneeling lunge position, with shoulders over hips, squeeze your back glute and push hips forward. For a more intense stretch lift your foot off the ground with your hand. This can also be done standing. Repeat on other side.  

Hamstring stretch 
Lying: Lying on your back, lift one leg towards the roof, interlock your fingers behind your quad, knee or calf and pull gently towards your body. Repeat on other side.  
Standing: Place one leg out in front, hinge at the hips and reach towards your toes.  

Seated glute stretch 
Seated upright on a bench, place opposite ankle on top of opposite knee, lift up and out of your pelvis and reach forward. Repeat on other side.  

It is important to warm up prior to static stretching in order to prevent injury. Therefore completing carefully planned and safely executed dynamic stretches prior to working out, and then static stretches after your workout is the most effective way to help you perform effectively, and prevent those unwanted injuries.

Please ask our very helpful gym floor fitness professionals for advice, support or just for some new ideas.

Demi is a personal trainer at Virgin Active Frenchs Forest with a strong passion for nutrition, dancing, health science, weight-loss, Muscle Endurance, HITT, and getting the body moving functionally. 
Follow Demi @movedembods 

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