4 Common Types of Stretches and When to Do Them

Man doing a butterfly stretch
Photo by Scott Broome on Unsplash

By now you should know the importance of stretching. But what you may not know is there are many different types of stretches and different times you should do them. The four most common ones are static, active, dynamic, and ballistic. Some are intended for warming up, while others are recommended for cooling down. Here are the four common types of stretches as well as when to do them.

Static Stretching

This type of stretching involves holding a position for a duration of time. It can be done seated, standing, or lying flat on your back, and you should stay in one position the whole time. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds and perform the stretches after a workout.

Active Stretching

For active stretching, you use opposing muscles to stretch yourself without using additional forces. So, your quads may be working while your hamstrings stretch. They can be done before or after a workout, and they usually include multiple repetitions that are held for shorter durations of time.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretches are best pre-workout or on recovery days. They involve strength, agility, and endurance. During the movement patterns, your joints and muscles go through a full range of motion that is similar to the ones in your workout.

Ballistic Stretching

Similar to dynamic stretches, ballistic ones focus on expanding your joints and muscles past their range of motion. They should be done after your workouts or on rest days and they lengthen and loosen your muscles.