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What are the different types of stretches?

Woman stretching
What are the different types of stretches?


Common questions around stretching and what you need to know. 

Dynamic stretch & Static stretch

Dynamic stretching is an active movement that increases range of motion to prepare the body for movement. It enhances performance and properly warms your body up for the main workout. Static stretching is performed in a stationary position where a muscle is held in one position. It is recommended to do static stretches when muscles are warm.  

Do I need to stretch? 

While there is controversy around stretching, most experts agree that dynamic stretching is necessary for a proper warm up before activity. Static stretching should only be done when muscles are warm, ideally after a workout. The amount of flexibility a person needs depends on the activity the person is doing. For example, a gymnast needs greater flexibility than a walker.  

When should I stretch? 

Dynamic stretching is most important before activity, while static stretching is most important after activity. Dynamic stretching helps prepare the body for exercise and decreases risks for injuries. Static stretching helps the body cool down after exercise and maintain flexibility. 

What stretches should I do? 

Dynamic stretches: High knees, butt kicks, skipping, leg swings, arm circles, walking lunges, high kicks (movements that mimic the exercises you are about to do) 

Static stretches: Quad stretch, hamstring stretch, calf stretch, figure-four stretch, iliotibial band stretch, butterfly stretch 

How long should I stretch? 

The overall stretching session should last five to 10 minutes. During static stretching, make sure to hold the stretch for about 30 seconds and do not bounce. You should feel tension, never pain. 

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