When you’re constantly bombarded with conflicting advice about stretching, it’s easy to get confused about what ACTUALLY benefits the body and what doesn’t.
The generally agreed upon rule amongst movement specialists is that engaging the body in some dynamic stretches BEFORE exertion, and some slower, more static variations AFTERWARDS, enables you to warm up and cool down the body adequately.
The more static stretches encourage deep relaxation and should be avoided prior to a workout. Maintaining some uplifting energy with the movements you take prior to exertion is essential - leave the deep stretches for after your workout.
Lunges are a great example of how to make a stretch dynamic or static. This move is performed with one foot forward with a bend at the knee and the back leg bent with the knee hovering above the floor. To make this a dynamic move, try walking lunges - which involve lunging on each step as you walk. Following a workout this lunge stretch can be held for up to one minute on either side, maximizing quadricep engagement and lengthening muscles after a tense workout.