In fitness stretching is split into two subcategories, static and dynamic. Whilst static stretching may work for lots of people out philosophy around this subject leans more towards dynamic stretching.
Dynamic stretching is a method used to stretch tight muscles using other muscles combined with movement. This makes stretching a little more fun because of the movements you often need to do in order to stretch and release tight tissue in the body. Dynamic stretching also makes things a little more challenging because you have to bring in other skills such as coordination, balance, control and precision to effectively do the movements and drills. The huge positive with dynamic stretching is that it uses the strength of other muscles to stretch out the tight tissue to combat muscular imbalances you may have been creating. This is a lot safer than using your physical strength to achieve a ‘good stretch’ on a particular area during static stretching. Like LISS and Active Recovery, stretching also promotes healthy circulation, it also helps break down tissue in the muscle which has become damaged or knitted as a result of hard labour. Dynamic stretching is also a really good way to warm up, it prepares the body and mind for exercise. You don’t quite get the same feeling from static stretching.
Static stretching is still a good means, it’s just not our preferred method, we much prefer to use dynamic stretching and foam rollers (for more on foam rollers see our specific post on this). If you are going to do static stretching as a matter of procedure, ensure you have warmed up sufficiently to avoid any injury to the muscles you’re looking to stretch.