Q:

What does dynamic stretching refer to in physical fitness?

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Quick Answer

Dynamic stretching is a type of stretch that uses momentum to extend the muscles. Examples include walking lunges, arm circles, ankle flips and side bends.

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Full Answer

Dynamic stretches loosen the muscles and prevent strain before exercise workouts, sports or other daily activities. This type of stretching is ideal for warm ups and cool downs. The stretches provide oxygen to the muscles to increase strength, balance and performance. They are usually more comfortable than static stretches that require a person to stretch and hold the position for a specific amount of time. A person can perform dynamic stretches in a sitting, standing, walking or lying position. A vigorous walk or slow jog also count as a dynamic stretch.

A person should begin dynamic stretching gradually for short periods of time. After the body becomes accustomed to the movements, the person can increase the number of repetitions for each stretch. Individuals should consult a doctor or personal trainer to determine which dynamic stretches benefit their specific needs. Stretching may aggravate pre-existing conditions, so individuals should inform their doctor or trainer of any health problems. Generally, healthy people can perform the stretches with no problem. They don't require special equipment and are easy to perform outdoors or in large indoor spaces.

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