Advertisement

What is dynamic flexibility?

Dynamic stretching consists of using a controlled speed and moving a muscle through its entire range of motion around a joint, intentionally using all the muscles involved in moving that joint. You do not hold dynamic stretches. For example, a lunge could be considered a dynamic stretch. You would be dynamically stretching the hip flexors and thigh muscles of the leg in back while contracting the glutes to raise your body from the lunge position. Dynamic stretching is important to increase range of motion, core temperature, and nervous system activity, all of which prepare your body for enhanced movement. Dynamic flexibility can be used for a warm-up or, if time is short, it can be a workout in itself.
Dynamic stretching utilizes the principle of ground reaction force and mass & momentum to increase the mobility of a joint(s). The goal of dynamic stretching is to prepare the body for specific tasks or activities for the individual. Movements generally integrate the whole body and involve multiple repetitions performed slowly. Foundational movements are utilized such as lunges, squats, balance reaches, locomotor moves and more. Dynamic stretching is a great strategy to not only utilize before activity, but also after the activity to restore motion and enhance recovery. Also, individuals who do not have a specific sport can incorporate dynamic stretches into a daily routine. For an office worker, taking micro breaks and performing moves such as posterior lunges with arm reaches overhead would be a great strategy to alleviate the forces that are placed from sitting in a chair all day.
Dynamic stretching utilizes functional movements involving the body's momentum to take a joint through its full range of motion. Dynamic stretching is best used prior to activity to best prepare the body for optimum performance. 

Often many people prepare for activity by performing only static stretching (i.e. golf, basketball, strength training) which actually works against the best practices to prepare your muscles for optimum activation. It is not a bad idea to perform static stretches prior to activity but be sure to leave time to perform some dynamic stretches as well to properly warm up, prevent injuries and give yourself the best chance to win.

A great lower body dynamic stretching routine prior to activity is:
  1. Body Weight Squats to Calf Raise 1 set x 10 reps
  2. Front Lunge 1 set x 5 reps (each leg)
  3. Hip Swings - Side to Side 1 set x 10 reps (each leg) 
Dynamic stretching involves using a muscle's own force production along with the body's momentum to take a joint through its full range of motion. Dynamic stretching can be used as a warm up, and prior to activities which will require using maximal effort. Some examples of dynamic stretches include prisoner squats, push-up with rotation, and medicine ball lift and chop.
Dynamic stretching utilizes both force and momentum to move through the full range of motion of a joint. Dynamic stretching can also be used as a warm-up before activity. Examples include: squats, lunges, and medicine ball rotations.

Continue Learning about Flexibility Training

What You Can Do to Protect Your Metabolic Flexibility
What You Can Do to Protect Your Metabolic Flexibility
You already know that sitting too much is one of the worst things you can do to your health. Around 50 million of you are profoundly sedentary. Sittin...
Read More
Why should I stretch in the morning?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Stretching has been shown to improve range of motion, flexibility and strength and even decrease cha...
More Answers
What stretches should I add to prevent muscle soreness after my workout?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
It would be wise to stretch each major lower body muscle group after a workout (hip flexor, calf, ad...
More Answers
To What Degree Do I Need to Exercise to Improve My Health?
To What Degree Do I Need to Exercise to Improve My Health?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.