Improved flexibility remains one of the most important objectives of any fitness routine and regardless of what type of workout you try, the best way to improve flexibility is to stretch.
Stretching is an integral part of every workout. Very often, it is used as a way to warm up before exercise. Stretching before exercise can help reduce the risk of sports-related injury and plays an important role in increasing the range of motion of muscles and joints. And while there are several different methods of stretching, the most commonly used methods remain static and dynamic stretching. Each of these two types of stretching come with their own set of pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each type of stretching and find out situations where it is best to use them.
Static stretching is one of the best forms of stretching. The idea behind this type of stretching is to stretch and bring tension to a relaxed muscle. Also, the tension is maintained by holding the muscles for longer periods of time (up to 30 seconds or more). Some of the most commonly used static stretching exercises include
- Hamstring Stretch
- Shoulder Stretch
- Side Bends
Pros and Cons of Static Stretching
While static stretching is great for increasing the range of motion of muscles and joints, some of the disadvantages associated with static stretching are
- A greater risk of injury when it is performed prior to workout including strength or endurance training.
- Reduced strength when static stretching is done before strength training.
- Reduced impact on long term training when performed before or as part of strength training.