Let’s talk about static and dynamic stretching!
Static stretching is the typical stretch where you hold the joint at the end of the range for 30 to 60 seconds. These would increase the flexibility of the joint over time as you stretch, and also help with relieving muscle tension as you stretch it back to its original length. Static stretching is great as a warm up for exercises that require a large range of motion, such as gymnastics, as you increase flexibility but they are not suited for other exercises because you would stretch the muscle past its optimal length for muscle contraction.
So what do we do for those exercises?
Dynamic stretching helps the joint prepare for a sport or activity by moving the joint through sport-specific motions for 10 to 12 repetitions. Dynamic stretching has been shown to increase performance of the muscle as it helps increase blood flow, increase flexibility and promote neuromuscular recruitment. Dynamic stretching is more suited for general warm ups before an activity, and static stretching is more suited for most activities as a cool down exercise to prevent muscle tightness. Both have their place in your exercise routines, so try them out when you can!