SIS News Archive

Physical Education: Dynamic vs Static Stretching
Posted 05/28/2014 11:22AM



In all physical education (PE) classes at Shekou International School, we teach students about the benefits of dynamic stretches and the issues surrounding static stretches. However, not everyone knows about the recent research and still does what their PE teacher or coach taught them to do when they were at school. It is still common practice to see students performing static stretches. However, science, has moved on and as teachers or coaches we must keep up to date.

Researchers have now proved that holding a stretch actually weakens the muscle. In a study conducted at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, athletes generated less force from their leg muscles after static stretching than they did after not stretching at all. “There is a neuromuscular inhibitory response to static stretching,” says McHugh, Director of Research at the Nicholas Institute, New York City. The straining muscle becomes less responsive and stays weakened for up to 30 minutes after stretching (G. Reynolds, October 31, 2008, New York Times)

Stretching muscles while moving, on the other hand, a technique known as dynamic stretching or dynamic warm-ups, increases power, flexibility and range of motion. Muscles in motion don’t experience that insidious inhibitory response. They instead get what McHugh calls “an excitatory message” to perform. (G. Reynolds, October 31, 2008, New York Times)

Dynamic stretching is at its most effective when it’s relatively sports specific. You need range-of-motion exercises that activate all of the joints and connective tissue that will be needed for the task ahead. (Terrence Mahon, Team Running USA, 2010)
Dynamic stretching examples please watch the videos below: - New York Times video
- Dynamic group warm up ideas - Dynamic group warm up ideas  - Dynamic Individual warm up

Next time you are going to do your own workout, play sports or coach, think dynamic!

Esther Wright, Elementary School PE Teacher


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Shekou International School

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