What are the benefits of stretching? There are two types of stretching, dynamic and static, both which are beneficial when completed properly. Stretching is not the warm-up. Literally, warm up the body first with light movement which will increase the body temperature. A good warm up will use exercises of similar motion to your workout. For example, jogging before running or light punches and kicks at the beginning of martial arts class.
Dynamic stretching takes the body through its range of motion. Each repetition of motion reaches further than the one before. It is important not to bounce or hold during dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is used before or during an activity.
Static stretching is used at the end of the workout or activity as part of the cool down. Relax and let the body reach by itself. There will be slight tension but not pain. If a stretch is painful, then it has been taken too far and should be relaxed. To help increase flexibility, use stretching on a regular basis and work on both sides.
Use stretching to both increase performance and decrease injury. Martial arts help you to gain flexibility, strength, and balance.