Everyone knows that stretching and gaining flexibility is a great way to help reduce the chance of injury, but you may be unaware of the different types of stretching and when each type is optimally used.
Below I have explained the two main types of stretching with examples for the lower limbs that you can practice at home.
Dynamic Stretching is when you stretch the muscle in an active repetitive motion. This is best used within a warm up preparing the body for the range of motion ahead. An example of dynamic stretching is leg swings.
Leg swings- Using a wall, fence or object next to you for support, swing one leg forward and back like a pendulum. Ensure your posture is tall and the rest of the body is upright, all of the range of motion should be coming from the hip joint. Gradually ease into the movement and increase the range of swing over time. Aim for 20 leg swings then swap legs.
Static Stretching is when you hold the stretch of the muscle for a period of time, normally around 30-40 seconds. Static stretching is best to be preformed after exercise when the muscle is warm.