Stay Loose and Ready With Dynamic Stretching

July 19, 2011

From your first day in gym class, static stretching was a staple for activity. Gym teachers everywhere instructed students to touch their toes before moving onto the next static stretch. But over the years, the science of stretching has changed. As it turns out, dynamic stretching is much better for your body than static stretching, especially prior to engaging in performance-based activity.

A study by researchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, revealed that athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. Other studies have shown that static stretching decreases muscle strength by as much as 30 percent. Michael McHugh, director of research at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, says, “There is a neuromuscular inhibitory response to static stretching.” It can weaken a muscle for up to 30 minutes after stretching—which means it could be affecting your workout.

A proper warm-ups does two things. It loosens muscles and tendons to increase range of motion through various joints, and it increases blood flow throughout the body. Dynamic stretching accomplishes both, so it is preferred by strength and conditioning professionals.

Arizona Diamondbacks star right fielder Justin Upton uses dynamic stretching before his workout on the advice of human performance specialist Denny Locascio, who says, “All of the research out there says flexibility is not going to prevent injury. So what we like to do is a Dynamic Warm-Up, trying to mimic the movements we’re about to train for in a way that warms up the muscles, gets the blood flow going, and makes the athlete feel comfortable with what he’s about to do.” He adds that they finish their workout with a static stretch.

Watch Upton’s dynamic stretch above. Scrap your out-of-date static stretching warm-up, and replace it with dynamic movements that loosen your muscles, tendons and joints.

Source:  nytimes.com

Joe Baur
- Joe Baur is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Miami University [Oxford, OH]. He became certified with the National...
Joe Baur
- Joe Baur is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Miami University [Oxford, OH]. He became certified with the National...
Must See
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 32,857,325
Brandon Jennings: Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 5,609,405
Dashon Goldson: Dashon Goldson: "You Just Gotta Have Heart"
Views: 6,364,779

Featured Videos

Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,017,580
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,821
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 70,687
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,717
Paul Rabil's Box Jumps Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 851,414
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,083
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,085
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,111

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises for a Safe, Effective Workout

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises for a Safe, Effective Workout

Choose One of These Five Dynamic Warm up Exercises for a Safer and Effective Workout By Jim Carpentier, CSCS Stop! Before sprinting several...

Dig Like a Pro: Exercises for Volleyball Mobility

Dig Like a Pro: Exercises for Volleyball Mobility

Fundamentals of a Pre-Workout Warm-Up

Fundamentals of a Pre-Workout Warm-Up

Why You Shouldn't Stretch 24 Hours Before a Game

Why You Shouldn't Stretch 24 Hours Before a Game

How to Release Muscle Knots and Trigger Points

How to Release Muscle Knots and Trigger Points

4 Ways to Increase Lacrosse Shot Rotational Power

4 Ways to Increase Lacrosse Shot Rotational Power

3 Drills for Better Hip Mobility

3 Drills for Better Hip Mobility

Balance Exercises That Are Game-Changers

Balance Exercises That Are Game-Changers

Optimizing Energy Transfer in Your Lacrosse Shot

Optimizing Energy Transfer in Your Lacrosse Shot

Mobility Training for Hockey Goalies

Mobility Training for Hockey Goalies

Best Joint Mobility Exercises

Best Joint Mobility Exercises

The Ultimate Pitcher's Warm-Up: 4 Shoulder Exercises with Bands

The Ultimate Pitcher's Warm-Up: 4 Shoulder Exercises with Bands

Build a More Powerful Golf Swing With These Mobility Drills

Build a More Powerful Golf Swing With These Mobility Drills

Reducing Tight Hamstrings without Stretching for Hockey Players

Reducing Tight Hamstrings without Stretching for Hockey Players

3 Exercises That Fix Common Baseball Hip Mobility Issues

3 Exercises That Fix Common Baseball Hip Mobility Issues

Green Bay Packers Discover Football's Fountain of Youth

Green Bay Packers Discover Football's Fountain of Youth

Why and When You Need to Change Your Pre-Game Warm-Up Routine

Why and When You Need to Change Your Pre-Game Warm-Up Routine

Go the Distance With This Baseball Yoga Warm-Up

Go the Distance With This Baseball Yoga Warm-Up

YOGA FAILS, FIXED: How to Not Mess Up Downward Facing Dog

YOGA FAILS, FIXED: How to Not Mess Up Downward Facing Dog

These 9 Exercises Will Improve Your Hip Mobility

These 9 Exercises Will Improve Your Hip Mobility

How Hockey Goalies Can Get More Flexible for a Better Butterfly

How Hockey Goalies Can Get More Flexible for a Better Butterfly

How to Fix 4 Common Tight Areas in Your Body

How to Fix 4 Common Tight Areas in Your Body

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises Done the Right Way

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises Done the Right Way

The Yoga Warm-Up for Basketball Players

The Yoga Warm-Up for Basketball Players

6 Thoracic Spine Exercises to Improve Mobility

6 Thoracic Spine Exercises to Improve Mobility

The Importance of Recovery Workouts

The Importance of Recovery Workouts

Pre-Workout Warm-Up Steps You Can't Afford to Skip

Pre-Workout Warm-Up Steps You Can't Afford to Skip

The Best Stretching Exercise for You

The Best Stretching Exercise for You

Are Tight Hips Slowing You Down?

Are Tight Hips Slowing You Down?

Increase Your Flexibility Without Stretching

Increase Your Flexibility Without Stretching

Animal Flow Scorpion Reach for Injury Prevention

Animal Flow Scorpion Reach for Injury Prevention

3 Tips To Make Your Stretching Routine More Effective

3 Tips To Make Your Stretching Routine More Effective

The Most Important Muscle You've Never Heard Of

The Most Important Muscle You've Never Heard Of

Flexibility for Cross Country From the Ground Up

Flexibility for Cross Country From the Ground Up

You're Doing It Wrong: The Warm-Up

You're Doing It Wrong: The Warm-Up

Improve Your Squat With 6 At-Home Hip Flexor Mobility Exercises

Improve Your Squat With 6 At-Home Hip Flexor Mobility Exercises

Must-Have Additions to Your Baseball Stretching Routine

Must-Have Additions to Your Baseball Stretching Routine

Improve Your Balance with Stability Ball Exercises

Improve Your Balance with Stability Ball Exercises

Add Warrior Poses to Your In-Season Training

Add Warrior Poses to Your In-Season Training

YardBarker