Dynamic Exercise or Dynamic Stretching activities keep joints, connecting tissues and muscles in good condition. Examples of exercise or activities that would use dynamic resistance are swimming, walking, cross country skiing, bicycling, weight training, and many other activities where movement and some resistance or load is involved. Blood circulation, strength, and endurance are improved by these continuous movements.
Static Exercise (meaning it does not use motion or movement), also known as Isometric Exercise, exerts muscles through contractions at high intensities (tensing) without movement of the joints. Pushing your hands together in front of your chest, where each side is resisting the effort of the other; or if you push against a wall without changing the angle of the elbows, are just two examples.
Dynamic Tension is a self resistance method of pitting muscle against muscle, and even more so, mind into muscle. The muscle of a given body part are tensed and you then try to move the body part against the tension as if a heavy weight was being lifted, pushed or pulled. Dynamic Tension exercises date back to the 6th century.
Dynamic Tension exercise does not only build strength, size, definition and endurance, but it is almost impossible to be injured as one's muscles provide the force and as they tire, so the force used will decrease. Furthermore, as a person grows stronger, so the exercise can be performed with more intensity and yet still with safety. So all in all, it is a very safe form of exercise that can be performed anywhere at any time as no equipment is required, to the extent that it can be done whilst sitting on a plane or while watching TV.
Static Stretching, also known as Isometric Stretching, (meaning it does not use motion) is a type which involves the resistance of opposing muscle groups through isometric contractions (tensing) of the stretched muscles. The use of static / isometric stretching is one of the fastest ways to develop increased static-passive flexibility and is much more effective than either passive stretching or active stretching alone. Isometric stretches also help to develop strength in the "tensed" muscles (which helps to develop static-active flexibility), and seems to decrease the amount of pain usually associated with stretching.
Static stretching is the preferred system and is very safe and effective. Feel the stretch – not pain. Hold the stretch for between 15 and 30 seconds depending on your fitness level and what you are trying to achieve.
Both systems will improve flexibility and strength. Consult a professional trainer for guidance suitable for your needs.
Let's examine the logic of using Static or Dynamic Exercise (Dynamic Tension) for beginners:
- Static exercise will tend to drive up blood pressure in an instant. Thus people with circulation problems and high blood pressure should avoid over-exerting pressure without muscle movement.
- Whilst performing static exercise, never hold your breath. This can increase blood pressure even higher which could reach a dangerous level.
- As with any activity, don't overdo any movements at the outset. Allow the body to determine when you can increase the range by it slowly allowing you to increase the stretch further and further until you reach the next hint of pain.
- Professional advice is always highly recommended.
- Static / Isometric stretching is not recommended for children and adolescents whose bones are still growing. These age groups are usually flexible enough; strong stretches produced by the isometric contraction may have a much higher risk of damaging their tendons and connective tissue.