Dynamic Stretching vs Static Stretching

Here’s an e-mail I received from a gym friend that you may enjoy.

“Hey Mike,

I came across an interesting article on the NYTimes website which discusses dynamic vs. static stretching:
What are your thoughts on the matter?”

My response:

“Hi Mischa,

Great article. I’ve been warming up like that for the last 10 years +. People make fun of me all the time for my unorthodox warm ups. It really is a superior way to prepare yourself. In addition to all the benefits they mention, it also makes you more aggressive and focused.

I liked the movements they showed too. I do all of them and some others. I have stopped doing the scorpion b/c you get excessive lumbar rotation and you really want to resist lumbar rotation to prevent injuries. Instead I would do side-lying thoracic rotations and hip swings to loosen up the same muscles. Attached are some photos.

Thanks for asking the question.


Here’s a photo of Side-Lying Thoracic Shoulder Rolls.

You can do 1 set of 5-20 reps as a warm up.

And here’s a photo of Hips Swings or Leg Swings. The first 2 photos are sagittal plane or forwards and backwards swings and the last 2 photos are frontal plane or side to side swings. Again you can do 1 set of 5-20 reps as a warm up.

Not only do I use dynamic stretching as a warm up, but I also have my clients use it. We give it an even fancier name too. We call it movement prep (preparation).

Here are some benefits to dynamic stretching:

  • increased heart rate
  • increased core temperature
  • increased muscle elasticity
  • increased motor coordination
  • increased mental alertness
  • increased aggressiveness
  • increased mobility
  • increased flexibility
  • increased nervous system rate of muscle firing
  • decreased risk of injury

Now just because it makes sense to use dynamic stretching as a warm up, it also makes sense to use static stretching as a cool down. Here are some reasons why:

  • increased flexibility
  • increased muscle pliability and ability to be lengthened post workout
  • increased level of calmness
  • increased circulation
  • decreased heart rate
  • decreased blood pressure
  • decreased risk of injury
  • decreased aggressiveness

Last, here are 2 videos from my recent pumpkin workout showing both a dynamic warm up and a static cool down.

Have you ever tried a dynamic warm up?

How does it make you feel?


Mike Alves


p.s. Turkey Workout for Charity, Thursday, November 20 @ 7pm. Come join me and support a good cause if you think you can hang.

p.p.s. visit, www.mikealves.com/gobble.html

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