Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching uses speed of movement, momentum and active muscular effort to bring about a stretch . Unlike static stretching the end position is not held. (1)

Dynamic stretching is similar to ballistic stretching except that it avoids bouncing motions and tends to incorporate more sport-specific movements.

Arms circles, exaggerating a kicking action and walking lunges (without weights) are examples of dynamic stretches. A walking lunge dynamically stretches the hip flexors by emphasizing hip extension and can reduce muscle tightness around the hip joint necessary for competition.

Dynamic stretching is useful before competition and has been shown to reduce muscle tightness (2). Muscle tightness is one factor associated with an increase occurrence of musculotendinous tears (2,3). More recent scientific studies seem to suggest that dynamic stretches before competition are preferably to static stretches (4,5,6). This may be particularly true for strength and power athletes.

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References
1) National Strength & Conditioning Association. Essentials of strength training & conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2000
2) Witvrouw, E., Danneels, L., Asselman, P., D'Have, T., Cambier, D. Muscle flexibility as a risk factor for developing muscle injuries in male professional soccer players. A prospective study. Am. J. Sports Med. Jan-Feb;31(1):41-6. 2003
3) Krivickas, L.S., Feinberg, J.H. Lower extremity injuries in college athletes: relation between ligamentous laxity and lower extremity muscle tightness. Arch. Phys. Med. Rehabil. Nov;77(11):1139-43. 1996
4) Yamaguchi, T., Ishii, K. Effects of static stretching for 30 seconds and dynamic stretching on leg extension power. J. Strength Cond. Res. Aug;19(3):677-83. 2005
5) Cramer, J.T., Housh, T.J., Weir, J.P., Johnson, G.O., Coburn, J.W., Beck, T.W. The acute effects of static stretching on peak torque, mean power output, electromyography, and mechanomyography. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. Mar;93(5-6):530-9. 2005. Epub 2004 Dec 15.
6) Shrier, I. Stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of local muscle injury: A critical review of the clinical and basic science literature. Clinical J. Sports Med. 9: 221-7. 1999




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