Dynamic stretching is particularly good for 'waking muscles up' prior to exercise or participating in a sport. It has been described by Thomas Kurz (1) as '' moving parts of your body and gradually increasing reach, speed of movement, or both''.
In practical terms it can be achieved by slow controlled arm or leg swings, or torso twists, with a number of repetitions. The speed and magnitude of the movements should gradually increase until a full range of motion is comfortably reached, without forcing or bouncing. Before sport the movements carried out should ideally be appropriate to the movements involved in that particular sport.
Dynamic stretching is being increasingly used by top sports coaches as a warm up in preference to static stretching as a result of the following research findings:
Some studies suggest that dynamic stretching prior to sport may lead to fewer injuries, as well as increasing muscle and core temperatures, stimulating the nervous system and elongating the muscles (2)
Static stretches can reduce muscle strength by up to 9% for 60 minutes after stretching (3) which is not ideal in preparation for an explosive sport.
Static stretches seem best suited following an activity (4)
For Ideas for dynamic stretching routines, view the following publicly available video from YouTube - 7futures is not liable or responsible for any content or associated comments:
(1) Thomas Kurz - www.scienceof sports.com
(2) Frederick Gregory 2001 - Strength and C onditioning Journal Vol 23 No. 1
(3) Gleim and McHugh 1997 - Sports Medicine 24(5) pp289-299
(4) Mann and Jones 1999 - Strength and Conditioning Journal Vol 21 No.6
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