There are two kinds of stretching: static and dynamic. Static stretching is what we do in gym / yoga class, which is to hold a stretch for some time.
Static Stretching or Yoga may be good and sufficient for those who are not involved in sports or strength exercises.
But for those who have ever been in sports / strength lifestyle and specially for those are currently in sports / strength activities, the static stretching or Yoga is useful when it is done after the workout / sports. But before the workout or sports activity dynamic streching is more appropriate and benifiial.
Pre-practice and pre-competition warm-up routines have typically focused on static stretching. While this type of stretching is still important for maintaining flexibility and joint range of motion, it really should be performed after play, not before practice or competition. This is a new way of thinking about stretching and flexibility, but recent research has shown that static stretching can reduce the force and power the muscle can generate and that this impaired function can last for over one hour.
Dynamic stretching, really wakes up the body and makes you ready for a good workout. It also also gives a new kind of effortless flexibility.
The “real” or “true” flexibility isn’t whether you can reach down and touch your toes (though you can). True flexibility is about whether your body can execute the movements required for a particular sport / activity. Dynamic stretching helps to get you there because “dynamic,” or movement-based, stretching is all about real-world actions. Dynamic stretching also stimulates your central nervous system and increases blood flow as well as strength and power production. They also mimic the movements that will be taking place during the exercise.
Dynamic stretching will improve your performance by increasing flexion in the joints and increasing body temperature. Much like how the time of day can determine your body temperature, dynamic stretching will increase your body temperature, causing blood to flow more easily to muscles. The warmer the muscle, the less chance there is of injury. Static stretching decreases the ability to exhibit maximum power or strength for up to 30 minutes after stretching.
Static stretches have their place and their place is not before stretching. They should only be done after a workout is finished. You won’t be holding a locked arm behind your head during a workout, so why would you do that for a warm up.
So, really, dynamic stretching is the ideal warm-up for any activity / workout.
But do ensure five minutes of warm up like light jogging or stationary cycling to ease your body into activity and raise your heart rate. Then go right into these dynamic stretching exercises. Do ten reps of each without resting (as your body becomes conditioned to these moves, you can increase the reps to fifteen or even twenty). It shouldn’t take you more than five minutes to run through them, and once you do, you should be sweating. That’s a good thing—you’re putting the warm in warm-up.
Surya Namaskar :
A set of 12 powerful yoga asanas (postures) that provide a good cardiovascular workout in the form of Surya Namaskar. When it is done in the the form of asanas, by holding the breath for 30 seconds or more, it is static stretching.
When it is done as a drill it is Dynamic Stretching.
Jumping jacks. You probably know how to do them, but if not: Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides. In one simultaneous movement, raise your arms above your head and jump up enough to spread your feet wide, then quickly reverse the movement and repeat.
Walking high knees. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your shoulders back and your back straight, raise your left knee as high as you can and step forward. Repeat with your right leg. Continue to alternate back and forth.
Walking high kicks. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your knee straight, kick your right leg up and reach out with your left arm to meet it—as you simultaneously take a step forward. As soon as your right foot touches the floor, repeat the movement with your left leg and right arm. Alternate back and forth.
Squat thrusts (a.k.a. burpees). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Lower your body as deep as you can into a squat. As you squat down, place your hands on the floor in front of you, shifting your weight onto them. Kick your legs backward, so that you’re now in a push-up position. Quickly bring your legs back to the squat position. Stand up and repeat.
Lunge with side bend. From a standing position, step forward with your right leg and lower your body until your right knee is bent at least ninety degrees (don’t let your left knee touch the ground). As you lunge, reach over your head with your left arm as you bend your torso sideways to your right. Reach for the floor with your right hand if you need extra balance. Return to the starting position.
Complete your reps, then switch legs for the same number of reps.
Reverse lunge with backward reach. From a standing position, step back with your right leg, lowering your body until your left knee is bent at least ninety degrees (don’t let your right knee touch the ground). As you lunge, keep your torso facing forward, but reach your arms back over your shoulders and to the left. Reverse the movement to come back to the starting position.
Complete your reps, then step back with your left leg and reach over your right shoulder for the same number of reps.
Low side-to-side lunge. Stand with your feet about twice shoulder-width apart, facing straight ahead. Clasp your hands in front of your chest.
Shift your weight to your right leg and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your right knee. Your lower left leg should be nearly parallel to the floor. Your right foot should remain flat on the floor.
Without raising yourself back up to a standing position, reverse the movement to the left. Alternate back and forth.
Inverted hamstring. Stand on your left leg, your knee bent slightly. Raise your right foot slightly off the floor. Your arms should be at your sides. Without changing the angle in your
left knee, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor and your right leg is extended out behind you.
As you bend over, raise your arms straight out from your sides until they’re at shoulder level, your palms facing down. Your right leg should stay in line with your body as you lower your torso.
Return to the start. Complete the reps on your left leg, then do the same number on your right.
Inchworm. Stand with your legs straight, and while keeping them straight, bend over and brace your hands on the floor (you may have to bend your legs to do this, but do the best you can). Walk your hands forward as far as you can without allowing your hips to sag. When your body is stretched out, pause, then take small steps with your feet toward your hands as your butt rises back into the air and your body pikes. The entire motion mimics an inchworm. That’s one repetition. Do five forward, and then five more in reverse. To reverse the movement, bend over and brace your hands on the floor, then walk your feet backward as far as you can. Once you’re stretched out, pause and slowly walk your hands back toward your feet as your butt rises and your body pikes.
Reference : 1. Serve to Win: The 14-Day Gluten–Free Plan for Physical and Mental Excellence by Novak Djokovic 2. Paatanjali Yog Pradeep : Geeta Press Gorakhpur