STATIC OR DYNAMIC STRETCHING
“Should we stretch static or dynamic?“ is one of many questions among dancers.
Is it necessary to stretch before and/or after the training? Do I yield good results? Should I feel pain while stretching?
Let’s clarify these questions.
First of all, the three most common variations of stretch techniques are DYNAMIC, STATIC and PROPRIOCEPTIVE NEUROMUSCULAR FACILIATION (PNF). They can be used depending on the goal: to either activate, relax or increase the range of motion.
Stretching before a performance is a common practice among dancers. However, cumulative results indicate a negative impact of static stretching and PNF as warm-up, due to both loss of temperature of the muscles and ability to produce explosive strength, which is necessary to, for example, jumps or switches in direction.
Consequently, either PNF technique or static stretching technique mixed with the active stretching technique, which is generally considered lower risk than passive stretching, is recommended. This occurs because the stretch force is controlled by your own strength rather than an external force.
These stretching techniques are used in order to
- Isolated stretching for postural corrections or improving overall elasticity, as well as
- After a performance or competition to relax the muscles within cool-down.
In addition, static stretching means a stretch is held in a challenging but comfortable position for a period of time. Therefore, you should feel a bearable pain (6) on a scale of pain measurement between 0 (no pain) to 10 (unbearable pain).
On the other hand, the dynamic stretching technique increases the articulation’s range of motion what is more effective than increasing flexibility before the physical activity. Dynamic stretching also supplies fast stimulus for the performance below and gains in jump power post stretch.
It should not be confused with old-fashioned ballistic stretching!
Dynamic stretching is controlled, smooth and deliberate, focused on the specific moves of the activity below.
In conclusion, it is better to use dynamic stretching before a performance within a warm up and static-active stretching or PNF within a cool down or an isolated stretching performance.
Here are some examples to practice the various stretching techniques.
Blahnik, J. (2011). Full-body flebility, Second Edition. Human kinetics.
Jaggers, J. R., Swank, A. M., Frost, K. L., & Lee, C. D. (2008). The acute effects of dynamic and ballistic stretching on vertical jump height, force, and power. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 22(6), 1844-1849.
Woods, K. , Bishop, P. & Jones, E. (2007). Warm up and stretching in the prevention of muscular injury. Sports Med ; 37 (12).
AIDA MARIA FERRER MANRIQUE
- Urban dancer since 2005
- Sports scientist
- Personal trainer at Funky fitness Project
Aida started to dance Breaking in 2005.
Besides Breaking, she also likes to practice other urban styles.
After her Sports science course at University of Granada (Spain), she wanted to create the Funky
fitness Project, because of the extreme necessity of physical cares among urban dancers. Basically, it is fitness training focusing on the moves of bboys, bgirls and urban dancers. The aim is an improvement of the urban dancer’s resistance, strength, power, elasticity, coordination and balance in order to avoid injuries and make strides on their performance.