Static stretching has been one seriously hot topic for the past few years. Many mobility experts are moving away from it, but it still has its uses. For example, when you trying to actually lengthen a muscle. There is some grey area here that you must be aware of. Many people associate tightness of a muscle with a lack of flexibility/mobility. Just because increases in ice cream sales are associated with increased aggressive acts in the general population doesn’t mean ice cream causes fist fights (It’s true, the reason being is that ice cream is sold more in the summer, and heat causes increased aggression/irritation). In the same way just because a muscle feels tight doesn’t mean it truly is tight. Not only this, but sometimes tightness is being caused by the body trying to protect that particular muscle as a result of some weakness. Before any stretching routine is created you must first assess flexibility/mobility across for that particular muscle in such a way that isolates that joint the muscle is associated with. Once you have established that your issue is truly flexibility than you begin a stretching routine. Keep in mind that static stretching takes a long time to create length changes in the muscle. In most cases other protocols should be used in conjunction with static stretching. Static stretching can also be used to prevent a recently injured muscle from pulling or straining again. In both of the above mentioned cases static stretching should be done after training. Keep in mind that static stretching especially for changes in muscle length will cause performance decreases.
Dynamic stretching is an almost entirely different entity. Dynamic stretching will actually cause increases in your performance, but don’t get too excited. Any good warmup should increase your performance 5-10 percent as opposed to performing a workout cold. Essentially dynamic stretching is warming up. For example if performing athletic endeavors involving sprinting some high knee skips could be in order. Also front, back and side leg swings. For lifting a dynamic warmup could be as simple as 5 clean pulls, 5 power cleans, 5 front squats, 5 military press, 5 overhead squats. When warming up for any workout consider a warmup that simulates the movements exactly or a movement pattern in the same category.