Updated: Jul 11
We recently got a question from one of our #teamfitbest members that we thought deserved a blog post.
The question was "What are the pro's and cons of dynamic vs static exercises? Dynamic being squat jumps, mountain climbers and static being slow moving resistance band exercises, bench press, squat etc."
All of the above would actually be classified as dynamic exercises and we'll tell you why!
Strength training involves three different actions that cause your muscles to produce force namely Dynamic (eccentric & concentric) exercises and Static (isometric) exercises. Before we can go any further. We first need to determine what the difference is. In short or basic terms: dynamic exercises are any exercise that requires movement of joints to perform the excercise, ie. a basic squat. Static exercises are exercises that does not require movements in joints, ie. a plank. Dynamic exercises takes the body through a full/partial range of motion. Whereas static exercises stays in one range throughout. Both types of exercises have benefits for your fitness regime. Our bodies consist of hundreds of muscles and enable us to move every single day! Throughout the entire day our muscles contract and relax - which allows movement to take place. The stronger our muscles become, the easier movement becomes. When we exercise, we build strength. You might think well "duh." But do you actually know what happens to your muscles physically when you train? Resistance training for example will cause your muscles to tear. Relax! Don't panic! These muscle tears are a good thing! As the muscles don't tear off completely, but the muscle fibres tears. And as amazing as God made our bodies - our muscles repair themselves! Muscles repair themselves by forming new fibres in the gaps where they tore. Which as a result leaves more muscle fibres and thus more strength and resilience! Cardio on the other side also provides limitless health benefits to our bodies. Nadine did a blog post on Weights vs Cardio: Which is best for Weight Loss. You might also find interesting with regards to this! Whilst both cardio and weights (whether machines, free weights, resistance bands or body weight) have amazing benefits. Building strength though weight training can do wonders to your muscle health overall! When we train our muscles, we're not only building strength. But we actually also improve our neuromuscular health. Exercise improves blood circulation. Which means that oxygen rich blood is transported to your muscles, tissue and every organ in your body. Which means neural synapses work better and can deliver signals to the brain faster and more efficiently. As your muscles become stronger and healthier - so does the rest of your entire body. Both dynamic and static exercises will improve your overall health and may decrease your risk of future injuries. Let's take a deeper look at dynamic exercises: When you hear the phrase "muscle building" - most people's immediate thought will go to gym junkies lifting heavy weights in the gym. And yes, they would be included in the phrase. But is most definitely not limited to the gym junkies. Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights will not make you look bulky or manly. It is actually one of the best ways to build strength and to get lean & strong muscles. You know, the "toned" look most ladies and actually men as well - are dreaming about. Since most dynamic exercises require your body to work through the full range of motion - it cause the entire muscle group to contract and release. Adding weights to your exercise, ie a weighted squat - will increase the weight load and thus increase the muscle fibre break down. The higher the break down (within safe ranges of course), the more new muscle fibre can be formed. Thus the more strength you will gain! It is of utmost importance that you always focus on performing exercises in the correct manner, maintaing proper form and posture. As soon as your form is compromised - it's time to switch back to lighter weights. It won't decrease the benefits. In fact, quite the opposite. Performing proper reps with slightly lighter weights will have much better results than using weights that are to heavy and you end up compromising on your form & eventually it will result in injury. Now let's take a look at static exercises: Most people who go for static exercises have either tried dynamic exercises and didn't like it. Or it might be that people are new to training and don't feel as comfortable doing dynamic exercises as they are with doing static exercises. If this is the boat you're in - don't be dismayed. The more you train the stronger your muscles will become and the easier it gets! Some people are unable to perform dynamic exercises due to physical limitations, age or chronic conditions. And in situations like that, static exercises can benefit their health and fitness levels greatly - as it requires little to no movement to perform. Yet the muscles still works and you still build strength. Static exercises in the fitness industry would more commonly be referred to as isometric exercises. Static /isometric exercises can include exercises like planks. But it also includes exercises like a static front raise (holding weights in your hands and raising your hands in front of your body and holding it at shoulder level). Or staying in a V-Sit position with your bum on the floor, torso slightly leaned backwards and feet lifted of the floor. Or performing single leg squats and holding that position in the lower extremity of the movement. Basically, any dynamic exercise can be a static exercise if you hold a muscle group in specific position for long enough. Static exercises are not only for people with chronic conditions or beginners. There are endless static exercises that you can do regardless of your physical condition. When we train our muscles, we're not only building strength. But we actually also improve our neuromuscular health. Exercise improves blood circulation. Which means that oxygen rich blood is transported to your muscles, tissue and every organ in your body. Which means neural synapses work better and can deliver signals to the brain faster and more efficiently. As your muscles become stronger and healthier - so does the rest of your entire body. Both dynamic and static exercises will improve your overall health and may decrease your risk of future injuries. Watch this space on a in depth blog post on eccentric, concentric & isometric exercises. The blog will also cover the question regarding the benefits between exercises like jump squats vs slow moving exercises like bench press, etc. If you have any questions - let us know and we'll do our best to answer them in the blog post.