Static vs. Dynamic Stretching: Why They’re Both Important for Optimal Health
If you participate in sports regularly, or if you have to perform manual labor, you have probably heard that stretching is important. Stretching is critical because it gets the muscles loose, gets your heart rate up, and prevents injury. Stretching is also important after physical activity for removing lactic acid from your muscles. This can help you recover more quickly and alleviate feelings of soreness. Stretching can be divided into multiple categories. Two of the most popular examples are dynamic stretching and static stretching. What are the differences between them, and why are they both important for optimal health? Keep reading to find out.
What Is Static Stretching?
Static stretching takes place when you stretch a joint as far as it can go and hold that position for a set length of time. Sometimes, you will hold each repetition for approximately ten seconds. In other cases, you might hold that pose for approximately one minute. Then, you release your joint, give it a break, and do another repetition.
There are plenty of examples of static stretching. For example, when you bend over and touch your toes, this is an example of static stretching. Or, if you pull your arm across your chest and hold that position, you are performing a static stretch.
What Is Dynamic Stretching?
In contrast, dynamic stretching involves actively moving your muscles and joints. Ideally, you perform dynamic stretching to get yourself ready for physical activity. You will target specific muscle groups you need for your sport, mimicking movements you might make during practice or competition. This helps your body rehearse movement patterns, allowing your muscles to respond more quickly when you need them most. Furthermore, dynamic stretching will elevate your heart rate, boosting your metabolism to mobilize your body’s energy stores. You can boost blood flow, increase flexibility, and reduce resistance to certain movements.
There are numerous examples of dynamic stretching as well. For example, lunges are a common form of dynamic stretching. Jumping jacks are another popular form of dynamic stretching. If you have ever seen Michael Phelps flap his arms before he dives into the pool, this is another dynamic stretch.
Why Are They Both Important?
Both forms of stretching are important for your overall health. Static stretching is important because it can remove lactic acid from your muscles. Even though it can be helpful before you begin physical activity, it is more helpful during the cool-down process.
Dynamic stretching is important because it gets your muscles loose, preparing them for physical activity. That way, you can reduce your chances of getting hurt during practice or competition. You may want to talk to your local chiropractor to figure out what dynamic stretches are most helpful for your physical activity. Then, you might want to talk about static stretches you can perform to cool down as well.
Rely on the Experience of a Chiropractor
Stretching is an important part of overall health. It can help you prevent injury while also increasing your athletic performance. At the same time, stretching is only one part of a well-rounded approach to maintaining your health and wellness.
If you want to prevent injuries, improve your overall health, and preserve muscle function, you should visit a chiropractor regularly. A chiropractor will perform a detailed exam, making sure that your body is properly aligned. Then, using chiropractic adjustments, a chiropractor can restore proper balance to your spine by removing fixated vertebrae that cause subluxations.
Subluxations put the body in a state of dis-ease which, over time, can develop into full blown disease processes like osteoarthritis. They also can hinder proper muscle tone which will affect your stretching routine and overall flexibility. So if you or a loved one needs help developing a stretching routine that’ll aid your overall health, give us a call. Our Doctor of Chiropractic is here to help!