Most people make the mistake of lumping all stretching together. A few understand the difference between static stretching and dynamic stretching. And fewer still understand that there are many different ways to do a static or dynamic stretch.
BTW; the term dynamic stretching refers to any stretching exercise that is performed with movement. In other words, the individual uses a swinging or bouncing movement to extend their range of motion (ROM) and flexibility.
Each type of stretching has its own advantages and disadvantages, and to get the most from your stretching you need to be able to match the right type of stretching to the outcome you’re trying to achieve. So let’s take a look at 4 different types of dynamic stretching and how to perform them correctly.
- Ballistic Stretching: A previously popular form of dynamic stretching, ballistic stretches are no longer recommended because of their high risk of injury. Ballistic stretches involve rapid movements and rebounding that force the body past its comfortable range of motion.
- Dynamic Stretching: This technique is basically a modernized version of ballistic stretching that involves bouncing and swinging but in a more controlled form. Rather than pushing the muscles and joints beyond their limits, dynamic stretches are performed with careful motions that do not push the body beyond its comfortable range of motion.
- Active Isolated (AI) Stretching: Sometimes called the Mattes Method after creator Aaron Mattes, this stretching technique was developed to relax target muscle groups by contracting the opposing muscle groups. This method involves a good understanding of muscle groups and how they work together. Stretches are held for only 1-2 seconds, and then repeated 5-10 times, as opposed to static stretches, which are held for much longer periods.
- Resistance Stretching and Loaded Stretching: These techniques contract and lengthen muscles through dynamic stretching. Since the stretches are performed with contracted muscles, they increase muscle strength in addition to flexibility. Using slow, controlled movements, muscle groups are contracted and put through a series of motions that stretch and strengthen the entire muscle group.
If you’d like more information about dynamic stretching and how to use it correctly, plus a sample video of dynamic stretching exercises, take a look at our comprehensive article titled; Dynamic Stretching Explained.
Until next time, stay healthy, keep stretching and God bless.
The Stretch Coach
P.S. Any thoughts, comments or questions? Post them below. Or, help spread the Stretch Coach message by sharing, liking or tweeting.