Static vs Dynamic – Which warm-up is best?

Static and dynamic stretching are two different approaches to warming-up, each one having its own use cases. Static stretching is where an individual holds a single position for a period of time (Figure 1). Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, involves controlled movements that prepare muscles, tendons and ligaments for performance (Figure 2). As for which style of warm-up is best, the answer isn’t quite as simple: it depends.

Lying Hamstring Stretch
Figure 1: Lying Hamstring Stretch
Figure 2: Airplane

If you are warming up for an activity that involves explosive movements such as sprinting, jumping or weightlifting, a dynamic warm-up will better prepare you to effectively and safely execute these movements. If you are looking to improve your range of motion (ROM) or flexibility, static stretches are more appropriate for your goals.

If you desire to complete both styles of stretching, evidence indicates that you should engage in dynamic stretching prior to your activity and static stretching following since dynamic stretches boost athletic performance where static stretching may negatively impact it.

If you are unsure which static and/or dynamic stretches and drills are most appropriate for you, seek out the expertise of one of our highly qualified Physical Therapists in Kew Gardens, Glendale or Manhasset to assess your current mobility and prescribe the appropriate exercises tailored to your goals.

Christian Cardenas, DPT, CSCS


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