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Benefits of Dynamic Stretching

There are so many movements that we can do with our bodies, that we sometimes forget to consider which are best. Surely, if we’re moving and exercising, we’re sorted, right? Well, you’re not wrong, but certain movements are definitely better than others.

Dynamic stretching, instead of static stretching (or no stretching at all), has many various benefits. In this post, 24/7 Fitness dives into the advantages of these active movements, some exercises you can do to get started with them, and more. Keep reading to find out how you can benefit your body with dynamic stretching.

What is dynamic stretching?

Dynamic stretching involves active movements that stretch the muscles to their full range of motion, activating and stimulating the muscles. During active stretching, you generally keep moving a lot more than during static stretches.

These exercises are often done to simulate functional movements and help ready the body for more intense training. Dynamic stretches can therefore be done before a workout in the gym, on a rest day, or as a form of exercise if you prolong them. Yoga, for example, is a fantastic example of dynamic stretching, as it activates the muscles by using them, and in a fuller range of motion than most of us are accustomed to.

Why is dynamic stretching important?

There are many reasons why active stretching is important for our bodies, but our favourite is that it activates muscles that often go unused. Going through the same exercises at the gym can become not only monotonous - it can have an adverse effect on our bodies. For example, if we are building up certain muscles, but not working the stabilising muscles surrounding those, we can end up with unbalanced bodies, and unfunctional muscles.

Dynamic stretching also increases muscle and joint mobility, which may help prevent injury. Increasing your range of motion will also increase your flexibility, which has its own range of benefits.

Lastly, dynamic stretching is a great way to warm up your muscles before a long workout. This factor alone makes it important for our exercise routines

What is the difference between static and dynamic stretching?

Put simply, static stretches are those in which you stretch in a single position for a period of time. Normally, static stretches involve stretching a muscle near its furthest point. This may be done while you sit, stand, or lie. 

Dynamic stretches, in comparison, are controlled movements in which you use your full range of motion to stretch your muscles out. These active stretches eliminate the use of force to stretch out your muscles and prepare your muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues for safe performance. 

Examples of dynamic stretching exercises

As previously mentioned, you will be doing quite a lot of moving while stretching dynamically. Think of the word ‘dynamic’, which refers to a process characterised by constant change, activity, or progress, and how you can incorporate this idea into your warming-up exercises.

Yoga is an excellent form of dynamic stretching, but sometimes we just want to do a few of these exercises to warm up for a full workout in the gym. If this is the case, try out these dynamic stretching examples:

Upper body dynamic stretches

  • Shoulder rolls

  • Arm circles

Lower body dynamic stretches

  • Leg swings

  • Standing hip circles

  • Squats

  • Lunges

  • Side shuffles

Dynamic warm up stretches

  • Jumping jacks

  • Torso twist

  • Bicycles 

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