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If you’ve regularly attended group exercise classes or sports practices for years or even decades, you may have noticed a shift in the sequencing of the workouts. Gone are the days of a one-minute “march-in-place” or a quick jog, followed by 5-10 minutes of “warm-up” consisting of 30 second holds (static stretches) of hamstrings, quads, calf, and shoulders. These have become replaced by dynamic stretches such as marching, squats, lunges, arm windmills, hip circles, and jackknives. Research has shown that warming up with static stretches actually increases your chance of injury, because the muscle will have decreased power following a static stretch.
Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, allows the big muscle groups to warm up slowly and increases joint range of motion. Save the static stretching for the end of your workout, where you you will receive the best benefit in terms of restoring muscle length, and decreasing tightness and soreness. Runner’s World has a good video online which demonstrates and explains some dynamic stretches in case you are having trouble coming up with some examples.
If you have any questions for your Oakland sports chiropractor, please call us at (510) 465-2342.