Fitness guru Sam Wood gives you the lowdown on static versus dynamic stretching - and shares his expert tips to stretch effectively before and after a workout!
We all have some understanding that we should stretch before and after a workout, but how you should do it and exactly why is a little misunderstood.
We need to stretch in order to move better, help with recovery, reduce pain and improve posture. It can also act as a great way to relax after a hard day sitting at your desk.
But did you know that there are two types of stretching and differentiating between the two can help you get a better result and recover quicker?
When people think of stretching, they most commonly think of what is called static stretching. This is when you hold a stretch for 30-60 seconds and let the muscle relax to increase flexibility.
This kind of stretching has its place – but it is best for after you have completed movement as your muscles are warm and ligaments and joints are more elastic. Undertaking a static stretch while cold may cause injury and can decrease performance.
Dynamic movement requires dynamic stretching. Moving through a range of directions and holding for no more than 2 or 3 seconds and moving again.
Dynamic stretching will help to prevent injury as the muscles are warm and the range of motion around the joints will help you move and perform better. It also powers up the body to be ready for higher intensity workouts.
Want to include some dynamic stretches into your workout?
Check out the video above for some of my favourites (and bonus points if you can find my best mate Hendrix making his cameo appearance!).