Improving flexibility is often an overlooked aspect of physical fitness, but in fact, incorporating flexibility exercises into your workout routine can be more important than your actual workout. Today’s Fitness Play of the Day from the Ripken Playbook will teach you about dynamic and static stretches to incorporate into your exercise routine.
First, let’s define dynamic and static stretches.
- Completed prior to exercise
- Optimize the entire range of motion of muscles and joints
- Benefits: loosen important muscle groups, prevents injury, and increase blood flow and heart rate as a workout “warm-up”
- Completed after exercise
- Involve little movement and are held for longer periods of time
- Benefits: allow the body to return to a steady-state of rest, promote recovery, help alleviate muscle soreness (see page 17 of the Healthy Choices, Healthy Children – Fitness edition)
- Access to Healthy Choices, Healthy Children – Fitness edition, Movement Index; pages 43-48 for written exercise instructions
Stretch it Out!
Watch this video for examples of dynamic and static stretches!
- Dynamic Stretches: Complete each movement for 20 seconds
- Toe reaches
- Lateral hip circles with reach
- Jumping jacks
- Static Stretches: Hold each position for 20 seconds
- Seated hamstring
- Seated side reaches
- Lying piriformis
- Kneeling hip flexor
Stretch Challenge: Challenge yourself to exercise at least three times this week while incorporating dynamic and static stretches.
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