When it comes to your warm up and cool down you should be incorporating dynamic stretching as a warm up before–and static stretching as a cool down after–running, hiking, playing sports, or any other active lifestyle. Dynamic stretching consist of running the muscles and ligaments through a continuous movement, while static stretching consists of holding a position for an extended period of time.

DYNAMIC WARM UP

  • Run the muscle through a continuous movement, increase the range of motion (ROM) to joints and muscles with each repetition.
  • Increasing the ROM slowly with each rep will eliminate threat and the potential for pain.
  • Keep the muscle moving increases blood flow and circulation.
  • Optimal for pre workout warm up.
  • Examples: Inch worm, air squat, lunges, and leg swings.

STATIC STRETCHING

  • Hold a stretch/position for an extended periods to elongate the muscle. If the muscle is not warmed up, it can retract after released.
  • Holds of 30-60 seconds can increase flexibility in a tissue.
  • Static stretching will elongate tissue and ligaments, but you want ligaments to be elastic in order to be responsive during exercise.
  • Optimal after a workout as a cool down.
  • Great time to try a yoga or pilates class after an easy run.
  • Examples: Quad stretch, hamstring stretch, standing calf stretch