5 Different Types of Stretches For Boxing & Kickboxing

5 Different Types of Stretches For Boxing & Kickboxing

Learn the different types of stretches and how they can help you warm-up, cool down, and recover from your boxing and kickboxing training.

Published: April 26, 2022

Topics: Tips & Technique, Training

Author: Jeff Turbett

Mobility and flexibility exercises help an individual move better so they can train harder the next time around. One of the best ways to warm-up, cool down, and recover is by stretching.

But stretching isn’t that simple. There are several different types of stretches that all have specific uses. When we think of stretching, we usually flashback to gym class and static stretches (the most common form). However, there are five (5) different types of stretches that can help you in your fighting game.

5 Different Types of Stretches

1. Active Stretches

Aaron Swenson doing a runner's lunge hold

Active stretches help improve the flexibility of a certain body part by working a specific muscle group while its opposing muscle group relaxes.

Examples of Active Stretches

  • Runner’s lunge hold

  • Sumo squat hold

  • Leg swings

2. Dynamic Stretches

Tommy Duquette doing spiderman lunges to thoracic rotations

Dynamic-based stretches focus on using movement to take the muscles through their full range of motion to actively warm them up and get them loose for activities. Dynamic stretching is the best way to warm up for a workout. Dynamic stretches can also be used as a cool down.

Examples of Dynamic Stretches

  • Hip circles

  • Arm circles

  • Spiderman lunge to thoracic rotation

3. Static Stretches

Shanie Smash doing lateral lunges

When most people hear the term "stretching," they think of static stretches. Static stretching focuses on holding a position, usually near the muscle’s end range of motion, for a set period of time. As we mentioned earlier, this is the perfect form of stretching to do after a workout as a cool down.

Examples of Static Stretches

  • Calf stretches

  • Lateral lunges

  • Single leg quad stretches

4. Isometric Stretches

Jess Evans doing a side plank hold

Similar to static stretches, isometric stretches involve activating the stretched muscle to further elongate the muscle fibers.

Examples of Isometric Stretches

  • Side plank hold

  • Low squat hold

  • Wall sit

5. Passive Stretches

Flo Master doing a standing hamstring stretch with a torso twist

Passive stretches are another great type of relaxed, static stretches. To perform passive stretches, assume a position and hold it using another body part or object, or with the assistance of a partner.

Examples of Passive Stretches

  • Standing hamstring stretch

  • Butterfly stretch

  • Lying hamstring stretch

Overall Benefits of Stretching

Adding a regular stretching routine to your workout can play a vital role in your overall wellness. Here are some of the benefits of stretching:

  • Helps improve athletic performance

  • Reduces risk of injury

  • Reduces inflammation and increases blood flow

  • Reduces muscle soreness and immobility

  • Provides mental well-being and mood boost

Let's break it down a little bit further and go through some of the do’s and don'ts of stretching.

The Stretching Do’s

Do Warm-Up

Stretching is great for the body, but doing so with cold muscles can actually negatively impact performance. Even if you incorporate stretching into your warm-up routine, you should still warm up your muscles a bit before launching into a full on stretching session. Otherwise, you run the risk of injury.

Do Go Slowly

Starting out, you are not going to be a yogi. Take your time and control your movements. Stretching is not about speed. Sometimes it can take a while for your muscles to relax enough to really get into the stretch. Executing slow movements helps your body adapt and work into the stretch.

Do It Continuously

Like anything, you need to be consistent in order to see results. You should incorporate stretching into your everyday routine, even if you’re taking a rest day. Stretching is a great way to keep your muscles limber and pliable.

Do Stretch After Workouts

It’s just as important to stretch after your workout as before. Stretching post-workout encourages blood flow to your muscles and kickstarts the healing process. This will help with muscle growth and development. Plus, it’s a great cool down routine!

Do Stretch If You Have Poor Posture

The average American spends 6.5 hours sitting each day, which can ultimately lead to poor posture and stiff muscles. Stretching is an easy way to help combat this. If you find yourself sitting all day in front of a computer, take breaks every so often and do a few stretches before launching back into work.

The Stretching Don’ts

Don't Bounce

Slow controlled, static stretches are the goal. If you bounce when you stretch, you can increase tightness in your muscle and increase your risk of injury. Remember, it’s not about how deep you can stretch or how fast you can stretch. It’s about listening to your body and easing into the movements.

Don't Forget To Breathe

The purpose of stretching is to elongate your muscles. Holding your breath causes muscle tension. Just like with stretches, focus on slow, controlled breaths for optimal performance and effectiveness.

Don't Stretch Right When You Wake Up

Ultimately, it is best to wait 30-60 minutes after you wake up to get your blood flowing and your nervous system firing before you start to stretch. Even better, foam rolling first for proper blood flow activation is a better alternative. Then you can ease into your stretching routine.

Don't Stretch To The Point of Pain

No pain no gain is an outdated expression. If it hurts, stop! Just as with everything, listen to your body and don’t push it. If the pain continues or gets worse, it may be time to see a professional.

Your Ultimate Stretching Guide

As you can see there are many types and benefits of stretching and hopefully, this will serve as a guide to help you get stretching into your fitness routine.

Are you ready to train like a fighter? Get access to hundreds of boxing, kickboxing, strength, conditioning, recovery, and stretching workouts that will push you mentally and physically. Download the FREE FightCamp App and train with real fighters from the comfort of your own home.

Jeff Turbett

Jeff Turbett has trained in boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and MMA. He is a personal trainer and knows the importance of cross-training for combat sports. He’s also a contributor at BellaVita Fitness and Wellness online.

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