What type of stretch and when?!
This week, lets look at Dynamic stretch.
Dynamic is stretch is best suited to warmups, mainly because it helps keep heart rate and body core temperature up, therefore our muscles will be warmer.
Examples of dynamic stretch are front toe touch kick, knee hip circles and side skater lunge. So, in short, movements that take muscles and joints through their full range but are not held.
The advantages are these movements then send a signal from the brain to the working muscles to let them know they are ready to work at the same time as preserving power and speed.
The disadvantages are they are more prone to cause sprains if they are not done with form and quality. They also will not develop flexibility the way static or PNF stretching does.
As much as I like and use dynamic stretching, I do still encourage a good pre warming of muscles with light movement such as skips, jogs or even hop1,2,3s.
If you have been dancing a lot, and muscles feel extremely tight, I personally still encourage very short held static stretch too in warm ups as, in my experience, it helps to prevent injury when the dancers bodies are being pushed hard before majors.