Stretches for Exercising
The Differences between Static, Dynamic and Ballistic

Hey all! This is my first time ever using Medium, and I’d like to talk a little bit about stretching. But before that, a little about me. I’m a proud owner of a company called Vision Fitness, we’re an online personal training and nutrition company. I’ve been a personal trainer for quite a few years, doing in-house jobs, side jobs, rehabilitation jobs and doing personal training at a gym. I’ve also competed multiple times in powerlifting and prepped competitions for bodybuilding. WHICH LEADS ME TO THIS TOPIC! During my first competition powerlifting, I got DEAD LAST and I’m not ashamed to say it. I’ll let you know the reasons why in a second. I was curious as to why, after all that training, whilst not in competition, I was pulling pretty decent numbers for my weight class. After doing a little research, this is what happened.

STRETCHING. Stretching is great for you, pre-workout, post-workout and even intra-workout. They help loosen the muscles a little bit, giving yourself a greater range of motion and helping to make sure your muscles are at peak performance before a lift! Also, they help break up that lactic acid building up in your muscles due to the tight contraction and the muscles breaking down carbohydrates for energy creating that compound.

Now, Let’s talk about the differences in stretching and let that explain the reason why I failed in my first competition.

First off, Dynamic Stretching, what is dynamic stretching? Dynamic is a type of stretching you do BEFORE a movement. For example, doing controlled push-ups before you bench activates the muscles associated with the movement, such as your pecs, deltoids and your triceps. A very simple, light-weighted dynamic warm-up routine doing push-ups, front raises and even lat-pulldowns can help increase the strength you have during a bench. Mistake Number 1. Before my competition, instead of doing a dynamic stretch, I started straight with 50–65%RM (Rep Max) and began warming up with that. What happens here, is that the energy that I’m exerting through this lift decreases the amount of energy I have in store to help hit that MAX lift.

Static Stretching, yes, it’s quite shocking in a sense. Let’s take a scenario, so you can imagine what it is. The feeling after leg days, after you workout your legs, you seem to be okay the next day, but the day after that your legs are incredibly sore. Most times, it’s due to not properly stretching AFTER your workout. Now, I’m not saying that doing static stretches will completely alleviate your pain, but it will decrease the soreness you feel by a considerable amount. So what is Static Stretching? Static Stretching is a stretch you do for a prolonged period of time, for example, pulling your arm across your body and holding that position for about 30 seconds. This helps break up that acid around your muscles and stretches it out further for more blood flow to help speed up the repair process. Mistake Number 2 was here. Before I worked out, I decided to do some static stretches, what happened here, was my muscles actually did the opposite of loosening up and it’s natural reflex my muscles. That, followed by my warm-up, was not the best idea.

Finally, Ballistic Stretching. What is Ballistic Stretching? Ballistic stretching is a more extreme form of Static Stretching that’s done BEFORE you workout. Unlike dynamic which is very slow and controlled, Ballistic is very erratic and jerky, examples; high knee kicks, push-ups with claps, and etc. Mainly used by the more advanced athletes and sportspersons This stretch is definitely a lot more extreme than Static Stretching and shouldn’t be done unless you’re very well-versed in stretching already. These types of stretches can greatly increase your range of motion, for example, helping a basketball player jump a little higher. But, something of high reward, always comes with high risk. Your muscles can enter a reflex mechanism and actually tighten the muscle and make your more susceptible to injuries. Mistake Number 3. Before my squat, I was feeling pretty good after my first 2 sets, so on my third set, I decided to jump up a weight I’ve done only once before. I got hyped, so I kept jumping up and down, doing knee kicks, jump squats, hoping to freshen up my legs, instead, my legs tightened and during the bottom of my lift, my legs gave out completely, and I actually dropped the weight.

So, hopefully the information that I provided this first time was informative! Thank you for taking the time out to read it, if you have anything to add or help me improve my blogging skills, I would love to hear them! Other than that, till next time everyone!

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