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Dynamic Hamstring Stretching: Can It Improve Performance?

Stretching increases your range of motion and flexibility by making your soft tissues, such as muscles and ligaments, longer by decreasing stiffness. It can also help improve your performance in your sport, help with soreness after exercise and lower your chance of injury.

In sports science, and sports medicine, there are two types of stretching that are done when it comes to warming up and cooling down in sports. These are dynamic hamstring stretching and static stretching. Static stretches are those in which you stand, sit or lie still and hold a single position for period of time, up to about 45 seconds. Dynamic stretches are controlled movements that prepare your muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues for performance and safety. Our main focus for this article will be on the dynamic hamstring stretching and whether or not it can improve your performance.

Dynamic hamstring stretching can be applied by sports players and non-sports players. This form of stretching exercise helps to improve your speed, agility and acceleration. Some examples for sports that benefit from this type of training are tennis, basketball, soccer, and sprinting. All of these are examples of sports that apply short bursts of momentum.

In sports science, we have an acronym that says BIOMEC. It stands for Balance, Inertia, Opposite Force, Momentum, Elasticity, and Coordination. This term comes from the word, Biomechanics. Biomechanics is the study of analyzing movement in sports in order for the players, coaches, trainers, etc., to limit or minimize the risks of injuries as well as improving the athlete’s performances. Dynamic hamstring stretching in sports can be beneficial to all factors of the BIOMEC scale.

In sports science, dynamic hamstring stretching is when you actively contract your muscles and rotate your joints through their complete range of motion. These functional and sport-specific movements help increase muscle temperature and decrease muscle stiffness. It is essential that athletes apply the dynamic hamstring stretching session, as a warm-up routine, before any sports events or meet that they are participating in. Approximately 5 to 10 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity cycling, jogging, or swimming, followed by dynamic stretches, should make up a thorough sports warm-up.

In sports science, there are a variety of activities in which a player can apply the practice of dynamic stretching. It is important to note that, in sports, flexibility is important. Dynamic hamstring stretching can help with improving your flexibility too. In order for the flexibility to be improved, the dynamic hamstring stretching exercises improve the strength and/or velocity of muscle movement by enhancing the muscle's responsiveness and lowering the amount of energy necessary to propel the limb.

Stretching is one component of fitness and athletic/sports training, that a lot of us find way too easy to skip. With dynamic stretching, there are many benefits that it can offer. Especially as you get older. Dynamic stretching can also help improve your mental wellbeing. People who make the time to stretch on a daily basis often feel like it helps their productivity too.

These are some of the physical benefits that dynamic hamstring stretching can give you:

It improves your flexibility – this is a joint's or group of joints' range of movement. Dynamic hamstring stretching can help with this, both in the short-term and long-term development of a person. You need to actively stretch five to six days a week in order to effectively lengthen the muscle and therefore develop your range of movement over time. This is beneficial in stretching your hamstrings because it will limit you from pulling them.

When exercising, dynamic hamstring stretching can help you more effectively activate your muscles – sticking to a regular routine or schedule for stretching will allow you to work on a wider range of motion and movement. This will result in more muscle being activated by the activity.

Stretching makes day-to-day like feel easier – whether you realize it or not, there are certain tasks, that take place daily, that involve some level of flexibility. An example is squatting to sink in and out of a chair.

Stretching prepares you for your workouts (and it also calms your body after exercising) – it is recommended that dynamic hamstring stretches should be done before a workout or training session. It is stated that, when it comes to the training sessions, the pre-workout dynamic stretches are seen as a way of moving slow before you move fast. It’s a great way to warm up your hamstrings. This is done when dynamic stretches can also stimulate the mind-muscle link. The idea behind the mind-muscle link is that by focusing on the muscles you are using while exercising, you may make them work out more effectively. After training, stretching can also increase blood flow, oxygen levels, and the distribution of nutrients to the body and the muscles, and the restoration process. Give your body time to recover from an exercise before continuing with the remainder of your day.

Stretching may decrease your risk of injury – This is one of the main, and most common, reasons why dynamic hamstring stretching is encouraged. It helps limit hamstring injuries, such as pulling a hamstring or tearing a hamstring. Dynamic stretching helps warm up your muscles, joints, and tendons, and temporarily increases your range of motion

These are some of the mental benefits that dynamic hamstring stretching can give you:

It helps you relax- Some people see stretching, whether it is static or dynamic, as a way to make them feel good. This is because it has the potential to help reduce chronic stress.

Stretching serves as an act of self-care - acts as a powerful message that you took the time to do something beneficial for yourself, as well as giving you a sense of release and allowing you to feel connected to your body.

Tips to keep in mind with stretching:

When you stretch matters – dynamic stretching should be done before your training and/or competition.

Certain stretches are more effective for certain workouts – this is an important factor to consider. As stated that it matters when you stretch, it’s important to focus on dynamic stretches of the hamstrings pre-session because it allows you to focus on the muscles you'll be working during your workout should be activated.

This shows how beneficial it is to warm up your hamstrings, with dynamic stretching, when it comes to preparing for a training session or a competition. The biggest benefit is that it can limit, or prevent altogether, the chances of pulling, or tearing, your hamstring.

How to do a Dynamic hamstring stretch – The Seated Twist

  • Sit tall on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.

  • Cross one leg over the other and place your foot on the floor on the outside of your extended leg.

  • With the opposite arm of the bent leg, press the knee away from your torso, then release. Repeat several times.

  • Repeat with the other leg.

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