Should you be using dynamic stretches? 9/20

By Sports Medicine & Performance Center staff
Posted: September 20, 2016 - 2:11 PM



Are you using the best kind of stretching exercises to meet the needs of your body and your sport? Dynamic stretching is effective for a wide range of sports, including baseball, softball and track.

In typical static stretching, the muscle is stretched to its limit and held for a length of time. While this is a good part of warming up, it’s not the best approach for all sports. Dynamic stretching, which takes place through movement, is the most effective way to warm the muscles, joints and ligaments.

Dynamic stretching can help you:

  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve balance, coordination and posture
  • Prevent injury while exercising
  • Shorten recovery time after an injury

Prior to strenuous sports that require power, acceleration and movement, consider warming up your muscles with dynamic stretches.

Take time to warm up
Warm muscles are less likely to be injured. They generate energy and improve your ability to react. Warm up with an aerobic activity that makes you sweat, such as walking, jogging, riding an exercise bike or using an elliptical machine.

Incorporate dynamic stretching exercises
Because a wide range of sports are played with every part of the body, your program should include stretching the hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, calves, trunk, glutes, IT bands, groin and upper body. Exercises can include leg swings, walking lunges, arm swings, trunk rotations and side bends. These exercises wake up your muscles and prepare you to compete.

View recommended dynamic stretching exercises.

For more sports medicine articles and information on the Sports Medicine & Performance Center at the University of Kansas Hospital, go to sportsmedicine.kumed.com or follow @KUSportsMed on twitter.

 

 


 

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