Are You Dynamic?

When I first hired Coach C to train me I was of the school of static stretching.  You know what static stretching is.  Stand with your feet next to each other and then bend over and touch your toes and hold for 12-15 seconds.  No bouncing or risk injury.  You do this twice and then move onto the next one and keep going.  I thought I was doing it right, and in fact I was but I was doing it at the wrong time.  I should have been doing that after the run. Coach C taught me that before I run or bike or swim that I need to do dynamic stretches.  She gave me a list of walking lunges, skipping, karaoke, butt kicks and high knees.  After doing these exercises prior to a run I noticed that my legs felt fresher and ready to run.  I also started to notice that my heart rate was up to 121 bpm when I was done.  It was then that I started to do the dynamic stretching just prior to the gun going off in a race, when I could.  Those races always seemed to have great starts and I figure it has to do with my heart rate being slightly elevated before I took off running.  I guess it is like warming up a car before you put it in drive and take off down the street. I have also noticed that I have a lot less pings and dings to my legs when I do it.  By that I mean that those hip flexor issues that I hear other runners/triathletes suffer from don't exist for me.  I will say that I have had some calf issues in the past two weeks and have addressed it with ART but believe that part of the problem is that my static stretching after my workouts became non-existent.  If I want to get to Ironman Texas in May in great health and shape I need to incorporate static stretching back into my routine along with the dynamic stretching.  My plan is to keep getting ART treatments as well as adding in Bikram Yoga for flexibility purposes. Here are some examples of dynamic and static stretching from Competitor.com.  Find the post written by Nathan Koch P.T., A.T.C [HERE] [caption id="attachment_4797" align="alignright" width="255" caption="Side Leg Raises To Do Prior To Exercise"]dynamic_stretching_leg_raises_running[/caption]

Do these before

Inchworms: Start in pushup position and walk your feet as close to your hands as possible. When you can’t go farther, stop and walk your hands out in front to return to pushup. Come down on stomach and arch your back up for a spine stretch. Leg swings: Stand sideways next to a wall, and swing outside leg forward and back, increasing height each time. Walking lunge with twist: Perform deep walking lunges to stretch the hips, twisting torso away from the back leg. Static sustained stretches are designed to hold a position for a joint/muscle that is minimally challenging. The focus is on relaxing the body part being stretched and letting it go farther on its own. Research suggests that holding the position for 30–60 seconds will increase flexibility in the tissue; conversely, done prior to activity, static stretching may actually inhibit the muscle’s ability to fire.

Do these after

Frog stretch: Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart. Turn toes out and squat down as low as possible, keeping heels flat on the floor. Press knees open with elbows. Quad stretch: While standing, grab the top of your right foot and bring it closer to your glutes, while pushing hips forward. Pigeon: On the ground, bring a bent right leg in front of your body with your left leg behind you to stretch your glutes.

Do You Stretch Before and After You Workout?

Do You Practice Dynamic Stretching?

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Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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