Personal Training Cork

Personal Training: Dynamic Warm Up Vs Static Stretching

At LeisureWorld we have a team of dedicated and extremely knowledgeable coaches delivering some of the best personal training in Cork. Our Personal trainers are on to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Whether your health and fitness goals are weight loss, general fitness, rehab or sports specific our team has the experience and passion to get you where you want to go. Here is an article and video by personal trainer Colin on the Dynamic Warm Up.

Firstly, what is a dynamic warm up compared to static stretching?

Simply put a dynamic warm up is a type of movement done while the body is moving, whereas a static stretch is a stretching movement normally done on one muscle group in isolation without any other movement.

A dynamic warm-up is a series of exercises (stretch’s) that when performed are designed to;

  • Increase the bodies temperature
  • Improve blood flow and increase heart rate
  • Activate the central nervous system
  • Prepare the muscle groups for the workload they’re about to take on
  • Increase the range of motion in the joints

For years it was thought that static stretching was the most effective form of warming up before taking part in physical activity but in recent years studies have revealed that this isn’t the case. Static stretching is where a muscle is stretched in a stationery position for typically 10 seconds. As the science of strength and conditioning has evolved over the years it has been proven that stretching the muscle in this way prior to exercise actually has a negative effect on performance.
Why is static stretching not suitable before physical activity?

Firstly, the body temperature can drop from doing 5 to 10 minutes of stretching without a whole lot of movement to accompany it. Our muscles are elastic, so imagine your muscles similar to an elastic band being stretched. What happens when you stretch an elastic band and quickly release? It will return to its original length! Now think of stretching an elastic band for a prolonged period of time i.e. 10 seconds or longer. When released the band will be less likely to return to its original position because it has lost some of its elasticity, a muscle responds in a very similar way. This loss of elasticity is what primarily decreases the performance of an athlete. In other words, you want your muscles to keep their elasticity for optimal performance.

Alternatively, a dynamic warm up prior to working out is the superior option. The muscle does not get over stretched and the body temperature stays up throughout the entire warm up, thus effectively getting the muscles and joints primed for exercise.

Another added benefit of the dynamic warm up is it keeps the mind focused at the task at hand while putting the muscles through their paces. This is very important aspect as we want to encourage the mind muscle connection before taking part in the desired physical activity.

On the other hand some static warm up routines can be boring and the participant can drift off daydreaming which is not ideal when you should be getting the mind and body focused on the upcoming task.

Now don’t think that static stretches are the devil! They have a time and a place in all good training programmes and training sessions. They are of huge benefit post training and also an excellent tool in general flexibility training. Watch this space for our next blog post.

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