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The difference between dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic and static stretching exercises

The difference between dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic and static stretching exercises

There are two main types of stretching called dynamic and static stretching. I want to talk and introduce you to both of them, talk about benefits and disadvantages and what is The Difference Between Dynamic and Static Stretching, what is the best time to execute them and which type of stretching is better.


The difference between dynamic and static stretching

 Dynamic stretching means that you are moving while stretching, it is active stretching where joints and muscles are stretched through the full range of motion without stopping at the end position.

Static stretching requires to stop at the end position and pull muscle until you start feeling the stretch. You have to stretch muscle between 10 and 30 seconds. Don’t pull too hard, because there is a risk of pulling a muscle, pull until you feel a slight pain in the stretched muscle.


Dynamic stretching advantages and disadvantages

Best time for dynamic stretching is before a workout as a warm-up. It will warm up the muscles and joints, increase mobility in joints, prepare a body for the workout and increase blood flow. The biggest advantage of dynamic stretching is that it helps to avoid injuries during workouts. I highly recommend doing at least five minutes of full body dynamic stretching before every workout.

The disadvantage of dynamic stretches is the risk of injury when they are performed incorrectly and in a hurry. There is the possibility to tear and sprain your muscles. Make sure you maintain a correct form while executing these exercises and never go through them in a hurry.


STATIC stretching advantages and disadvantages

Best time for static stretching is after every workout. Static stretching will loosen and relax muscles after a workout and improve flexibility, however, it must be done regularly, once you stop doing static stretching, the body reverts where it was before very quickly. Good static stretching after every workout can reduce muscle soreness. I recommend at least three stretching exercises for each trained body part.

Do not do static stretching before a workout, especially if you are running or weight training. Very often I can see people in the gym who are performing static stretching as warm up, before a workout and it is a very big mistake. Static stretches loosen muscles and it is very easy to tear or pull a muscle while training with weights.


Dynamic stretching exerciseslunge with a twist

  • Lunge with a twist – it is great for stretching glutes, hips, core and back. Step forward with the left leg as you do the lunge. Staying in lunge position slowly twist body to the left (same side on the leg you doing a lunge). Stand up and repeat with another leg.


  • Squats – are great for stretching glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. Stand straight with feet at shoulder width. Slowly start squatting down with back straight and weight epicentre in your heels. Squat as low as possible, butt should be nearly touching the floor.


  • Push-ups – this is great for warming up arms joints, chest, shoulders and triceps muscles. Get on the floor with palms and toes faced to Push upsthe floor, arms with shoulder width, back and legs straight. Slowly lower body down bending elbows until your chest touches the floor. Then slowly push yourself up to a starting position always keeping back straight.


  • High knees jog – this is great for flexibility and hamstrings. Jog in one place or moving in front trying to lift knees above the core.


  • High kicks – it is a great exercise for stretching hamstrings. While walking lift left leg as straight as possible and with your toes touch right arm extended in front of you. The lifted leg should be at 90-degree angle with another leg on the floor. Repeat movement changing leg with every step.


  • Frog walk in – it’s great for hips and hamstrings. Start in a push-up position and bring the left foot next to the left arm. Stay for a couple of seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat with right leg.


Static stretching exercises

  • Calf stretch – stand straight and place the left leg in front of you, bend down and grab toes of that leg with the left arm. Pull toes towards the body until you feel stretch in your calf, hold that position for 10 -30 seconds, then change the leg and repeat.


  • Hamstring and lower back stretch – stand straight or sit down on the floor with legs extended and touching Hamstring and lower back stretcheach other. Bend down and touch toes with fingertips or try to get as close as you possibly can. Stay in this position for 10 to 30 seconds.


  • Quadriceps stretch – Stand straight and kick left leg back, grab leg with both arms and pull it up until heel touch the butt. Try to keep knees as close as possible together. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds, change legs and repeat.


  • Chest and shoulder stretch – find a bar about your upper chest height where you could rest arms. Bend forward with arms extended in front and back straight, place palms on the bar or any suitable surface and push chest towards the floor holding the bar once you start feeling the stretch in your chest and shoulders. The body should be in around 90 degrees angle with legs. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds.


  • Side stretch – stand straight with feet at shoulder width, extend your arms up and lock fingers together. Then slowly lean sideways to the right until you feel stretch on your left side. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat with another side.


  • Abdominal stretchAbdominal stretch – lie down on the floor straight and place palms next to the shoulders. Slowly extend arms lifting the upper body up. Keep legs and hips on the floor. Go up until you start feeling stretch in the core and hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds.


  • Triceps stretch – stand straight with feet at shoulder width, lift arms overhead and bend left arm behind the back trying to touch the floor with fingertips. Use right arm to pull left arm towards the floor until you feel the stretch in triceps. Hold it for 10 to 30 seconds, then switch arms and repeat.


  • Biceps stretch – stand straight with feet at shoulder width, extend the arms in front of you about shoulders height, palms facing up. Grab right arm fingers with your left hand and pull them towards the floor until you feel stretch in biceps. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds, swap the hands and repeat.


Key points

Dynamic stretching:

  • Have to be done before exercise as warm up.
  • Involves a full range of motion movements.
  • Have to be done for 5 minutes.


Static stretching:

  • Have to be done after exercise as a cool down.
  • Involves stretching the muscle at the end position by pulling it.
  • Stretch each muscle for 10 to 30 seconds.


Both dynamic and static stretching is very beneficial when they are performed at the right time and correctly. I hope after reading this article you get more familiar with these two types of stretching exercises and know when, how and why we have to do them.


As always, if you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Marius Mickevicius

Founder of ihealthylifestyleto

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10 thoughts on “The difference between dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic and static stretching exercises”

  • Good topic, so many people use static stretching before workouts, not understanding how this can sap strength and power (or cause injury!) I’ve come to really appreciate the benefits of a dynamic stretching session before a hard workout.

    • Thank you Chris, I agree with you 100 percent, too many people are doing static stretching before workouts and have no idea how badly it can end up. We always have to do static stretching after our workouts, to help muscles relax after hard workout, and before workout we have to warm up our muscles and joints with dynamic stretching exercises.

  • I never knew the differences between these two stretches before. I just came from a yoga class and I realize we do both kinds of these stretches. Now it makes sense to me, which stretch I should be doing before my cardio workout and which one to do after. You helped me out tremendously. This article was very informative!.

    • Glad My article helped you and gave you an idea of differences between static and dynamic stretching. It is very important to do dynamic stretching before your workout and static stretching after.

  • Your article will be a great help for before and after the gym. I did not know the difference of the two types of stretching exercises. I have only stretched before and just quit when I was done.
    I hope this information helps me not pull any muscles the next workout. Do you recommend doing the entire list before and after each session.

    • Happy that my article did helped you. Many people don’t know the difference between static and dynamic stretching and not knowing can be dangerous and you people can hurt themselves and get injury. But both types of stretching are very beneficial when done correctly and at the right time.

  • This is a very informative post as I did not know the difference between the two types of stretches. I usually do them when I go to the gym but your post has made me aware of the how, the why and the when of doing each type of stretch. Thanks for the information.

    • I very happy I could help you Dhalia. It is very important to know when you have to do static stretching and when dynamic stretching to avoid injuries and I;m happy that you have that knowledge now and can do these stretching correctly and at the right time.

  • I never knew there was a two different types of stretching or even that stretching could cause injuries.
    I’m always learning something new while reading your blogs.
    But I was wondering why is one stretching best to do before exercising and the other after?
    Thank you

    • Thank you I’m really happy you can learn something new while reading my blogs. Dynamic stretching must be done before workout because you have to warm your muscles and joints before your workout. If you do static stretching before your workout you can get injury, because you will relax your muscles and it will be higher risk to pull your muscle. But after workout static stretching is very beneficial because after workout your muscles are tense and you want to relax them and increase flexibility.

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