Dynamic stretching can be an essential part of a warm up or stretching routine, especially for athletes who participate in sports that require a lot of sprinting and rapid change of direction.
Since these stretches involve coordinated movement, it is important for them to be performed using correct methods and controlled motion.
If dynamic stretching is not done properly, the risk of injury to muscles and joints can be high.
Best Time for Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretches are developed specifically to prepare an athlete’s muscles for rigorous physical activity. This means that the best time to perform them is at the end of the athlete’s warm up routine, before the game, competition or more strenuous activity begins.
The warm up should begin with other exercises, including light cardio to raise the heart rate and increase the blood flow to muscle groups. Once the muscles have been warmed up, they are ready for dynamic stretching.
The dynamic stretching that you choose to do should be based on the muscle groups used and flexibility required for the particular sport or activity that you will be participating in. Stretches should be done slowly and with controlled motions to lengthen the muscles without pushing them past the comfortable range of movement.
Confusion about Dynamic Stretching
Due to changes in recommendations for stretching as medical knowledge increases, disagreements crop up about proper stretching. Do not be tempted to give up stretching altogether because of conflicting information. Both static and dynamic stretching is important for warming up in order to prepare for athletic activity.
Dynamic stretches need not be eliminated from stretching routines completely, but do need to be done with care once muscles are warmed up and have reached a moderate level of flexibility. The motions involved in dynamic stretches help to increase the dynamic flexibility of the athlete, giving them a greater range of movement when in action. For the serious athlete, dynamic flexibility can be vital.
Confusion also surrounds the technique for dynamic stretching. While motion is involved in dynamic stretching, it must be carefully controlled in speed, tension, and range of movement. Muscles should not be pushed to the point of pain, and motions should not be jerky or uncontrolled. Properly done dynamic stretches can help athletes perform at their best and prepare their muscles and joints for vigorous activity.
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
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