We have all heard about the importance of stretching. Whether it's before or after a workout, the importance of stretching is not to be ignored. However, there are some details that should be addressed.
First of all let's talk about the different types of stretching. The first type of stretching, the one that people are most familiar with, is Static Stretching. Static stretching is where you hold the stretch for approximately 30 seconds. 30 Seconds is how long it takes for the muscle to relax and allow itself to be stretched.
The second type of stretching is called Active Isolated stretching. This is where you go into a stretch, but only for about two seconds and then you come out. You do this repeatedly for 10-30 seconds.
The third type of stretching is called Dynamic stretching. This is very different from the other two types of stretching. In Dynamic stretching, you are constantly moving. If you were stretching the hamstrings, then you would be swinging your legs forwards and backwards while maintaining control of the movement.
Dynamic stretching is the best option right before a race or event. It gets the muscle warmed up quickly and prepped for action. Doing too much static stretching before an event can actually affect performance. It changes the length of the muscle to which you are not used to, and so you will not be as controlled and coordinated.