Ballistic Stretching vs. Static Stretching
and What is Dynamic Stretching?
Ballistic vs. Static Stretching
Two of the most popular pre-activity warm ups that people do. Also, two of the worst things you can do prior to your workout.
The truth is, before an activity you want to warm your muscles up dynamically. You don’t want to stretch them. Stretching can desensitize your muscles and increase the chances of injuring yourself. It’s best to avoid short bouncy ballistic stretches before an activity and save the prolonged static stretches until after you’re done.
Static stretching temporarily desensitizes muscles. It can often relieve sore muscle aches and that pain could actually be sending you a signal that you should NOT exercise. This increases your risk for injury.
Repeated, rapid motions that elongate your muscles a little bit more with each bounce. The thought is that the muscles will go a little bit past their comfort range with each bounce. An example would be bending over to touch your toes and bouncing your finger tips off your shoes or the ground.
When you stretch and hold your muscles just past their comfort zone. Instead of quickly extending and releasing, you hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Often gradually increasing as it is held. This can be done with a partner to help you extend the range of your stretch.
Stretching… Benefit or Detriment?
Gentle static stretching is often advised to help lengthen muscles that have been shortened during physical activity. Most people find that this helps promote flexibility.
Ballistic stretching however has been found to have little or no value. None that outweigh its dangers, such as accidental tears, according to organizations such as the American College of sports medicine.
Or as i prefer to call them, Dynamic Movements. Before your activity it is suggested that you warm up with a variety of moderately intense dynamic movements. Such movements might include jogging in place, skipping, jumping jacks, arm circles and hip circles. Try squatting down and rocking side to side. These dynamic movements will promote circulation and blood flow, warming your muscles and lubricating your joints.
Finish your workouts with static stretching. Perform stretches on days when you’re not exercising to help promote flexibility. Remember, you gotta move it or you’re gonna to lose it.