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.
- 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