Being active in the gym is a great way to stay healthy, to keep your heart healthy, and to maintain your body weight. However, when you go to the gym often, your muscles can adapt to a particular way and become tight. This can eventually lead to an injury, if left untreated.
When you are regular at the gym, it is important to stretch the major muscle groups of your body to ensure your overall muscular safety. The primary ways to stretch your muscles involves static and dynamic stretching. Both of these techniques incorporate similar methods, but overall they differ in many ways. Listed below are some of the differences between static and dynamic stretching:
This is one of the most common methods of stretching and is actually something that everyone should do, regardless of how active they are. Static stretching is a method of stretching the muscle fiber tissue to a desirable length. Usually, you should stretch till you feel mild discomfort. Static stretching is highly effective for alleviating tight muscle groups and for loosening up some of the spots around the joints.
Static stretching is performed by bringing a particular body part through a range of motion and holding it at the end-point of that range. It is recommended to hold a static stretch for at least 20 seconds, but no longer than 60 seconds, at one time. Also, each muscle group should be stretched out two separate times.
Static stretching is generally something that needs to happen when your muscles are warmed up. Therefore, the best time to perform static stretching is 5-10 minutes after your workout.
In contrast to static stretching, dynamic stretching is performed by moving a body part through a range of motions, with each motion bringing the body part farther into a range than the prior motion. This is a highly desirable way to warm-up and is popular with many sprinters, athletes, and older adults.
The purpose of dynamic stretching is to prepare your body for the activity that you are about to do. If you plan on going for a jog, then you may want to perform some leg swings, circles, or even light body squats, to warm your leg muscles. The goal is to move the area of the body that you are going to workout, but not to the point where you use too much energy.
Making a selection between these two stretching types can be tricky, but make sure to incorporate them both. Mainly, perform static stretching when your muscles are warmed up and perform dynamic stretching before you work out. This rule of thumb is very helpful in increasing your performance and in avoiding injuries.