Stretching is essential to any fitness routine. There are two kinds of stretches that contribute a strength of their own to your fitness program. Dynamic stretching improves your mobility and serves as a good warm-up to athletic activities. Static stretches are often a part of an athletic practice and serve to loosen muscles to decrease soreness. They both have their goals -- one prepares you for action and the other relaxes your muscles.

Dynamic Stretching 
To lower the chance of injury, many athletes prepare for the court, the field, or the mat with a warm-up that includes dynamic stretches. A typical practice includes a series of active movements bringing your joints and muscles into a full range of motion. 

Some of the most common dynamic stretches are lunges, leg swings, trunk twists, and arm circles. Typically used before an exercise session, dynamic stretches are helpful for cardio, weightlifting, and athletic sports.

You do not need to make dynamic stretching a part of your cooldown process. Because the movement involved raises your core temperature, it actually reverses the purpose of your post-workout routine. Static stretches are a better element for the cooldown.


Static Stretching 
Loosening your muscles through extending and holding the same position helps lower the chance of injuries and offers benefits as a post-workout exercise. Static stretches help increase range of motion, improve flexibility, and relieve stress.

It requires a short period of time -- just 5-10 minutes can be effective. Begin by holding stretches for 15-20 seconds and after a couple of rounds, as you gain flexibility, hold them longer. Also, be sure to stretch equally on the right and left sides of your body.

Activities That Include Stretching
Stretching is a great way to acquire high levels of flexibility and certain physical activities offer that benefit. There are many forms of exercise that benefit from pre-workout stretching for maximum flexibility such as yoga, pilates, and kung-fu.
Incorporating both static and dynamic stretches into your fitness program is a win-win -- you can double the fun and increase the positive outcome from your workout.


Dr. Brian Augustine of Augustine Chiropractic in Wesley Chapel, FL, has over 31 years of experience treating patients for their neck pain and other ailments through personalized chiropractic care treatments. The locally owned and operated chiropractic clinic offers both in-office treatments and at-home therapy regimens to help people recover and heal from auto injuries and other conditions. The staff is dedicated to providing alternative and therapeutic solutions for better overall health. Give them a call today at (813) 994-6008 to schedule an appointment or visit their website to learn more about their services!