Stay Loose and Ready With Dynamic Stretching | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

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 Scrap your out-of-date static stretching warm-up, and replace it with dynamic movements that loosen your muscles, tendons and joints.


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
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 3,140,254
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,544,841
Patrick Willis' Homegrown Off-Season Workout
Views: 1,218,714

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Wisconsin Views: 224,260
Path to the Pros 2015: Training Days Views: 117,335
Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 388,894
Load More


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


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Pro Secrets, Revealed: The Perfect Workout Warm-Up

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

Mobility Training for Hockey Goalies

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

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises Done the Right Way

A Tight Back May Hurt Your Performance and Health

Balance Exercises That Are Game-Changers

How Hockey Goalies Can Get More Flexible for a Better Butterfly

The Best Stretching Exercise for You

How to Release Muscle Knots and Trigger Points

Fundamentals of a Pre-Workout Warm-Up

Add Warrior Poses to Your In-Season Training

3 Exercises That Fix Common Baseball Hip Mobility Issues

Dig Like a Pro: Exercises for Volleyball Mobility

Green Bay Packers Discover Football's Fountain of Youth

The Importance of Recovery Workouts

Must-Have Additions to Your Baseball Stretching Routine

12 Dynamic Stretches Football Players Must Do

Animal Flow Scorpion Reach for Injury Prevention

Go the Distance With This Baseball Yoga Warm-Up

Find Your Effective Pregame Basketball Warm-Up

6 Thoracic Spine Exercises to Improve Mobility

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

Pre-Match Warm-Ups that Will Improve Your Tennis Game

Why You Shouldn't Stretch 24 Hours Before a Game

Increase Your Flexibility Without Stretching

3 Yoga Twists to Keep You on the Field and Improve Your Game

3 Tips To Make Your Stretching Routine More Effective

How to Fix 4 Common Tight Areas in Your Body

Reducing Tight Hamstrings without Stretching for Hockey Players

Stay Pain-Free With These Advanced Stretches

You're Doing It Wrong: The Warm-Up

Improve Your Balance with Stability Ball Exercises

These 9 Exercises Will Improve Your Hip Mobility

The Most Important Muscle You've Never Heard Of

Patrick Peterson's Yoga Workout

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

Are Tight Hips Slowing You Down?

Flexibility for Cross Country From the Ground Up

Best Exercises for Improving Joint Mobility

Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises for a Safe, Effective Workout