Dynamic Stretching to Prep for a Workout

Today, dynamic warm-ups are a standard routine for athletes ranging from amateurs to professionals.

What Is a Dynamic Warm-Up?

A dynamic warm-up uses stretches that are “dynamic,” meaning you are moving as you stretch. For decades, static stretching, which requires holding a stretch for 10 or more seconds while motionless, was the most popular type of warm-up for athletes.

Dynamic stretching is ideal as the core of a warm-up routine for several reasons:

  • It activates muscles you will use during your workout. For example, a lunge with a twist is a dynamic stretching exercise that engages your hips, legs, and core muscles.  Whether you are doing weighted lunges in the gym, or lunging for a soccer ball, the muscles involved have already been engaged during your warm-up.
  • Dynamic stretching improves range of motion . So if you feel like you can barely bend over to tie your shoes after a long day at work, a dynamic warm-up routine can help you feel more limber.
  • Dynamic stretches improve body awareness. If you don’t warm-up and hop into a soccer game, it may take a while for your body to perform optimally.  Moving as you stretch challenges your balance and coordination; skills that could help your performance.
  • Warming up in motion enhances muscular performance and power. Studies reveal dynamic stretching before a workout can help you lift more weight and increase overall athletic performance compared to no stretching or static stretching . If you are trying to get stronger, build more muscle, or simply perform better, a dynamic warm-up routine is likely your best bet.

The Five-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up Routine

Here’s a dynamic warm-up routine that doesn’t require any equipment, it will prep your entire body for movement, and it can be completed in just five minutes. This basic routine can be used as an effective warm-up for many different activities, from interval training sprints to a full body strength training workout.

Complete 10 reps of each exercise below for 1-2 rounds, and check out the video for tips and demonstrations of each move.

 

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