What You Ought To Know About Dynamic Stretching
If you’re looking for a safe, easy way to warm up your muscles before your workout with less risk of injury, consider the modern method of dynamic stretching.
Dynamically Stretch Warm-Up
What Is Dynamic Stretching?
Traditional, or static stretching, involves extending a part of the body to the point of tension and leaning into the stretch, sometimes with a bouncing motion. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is performed as part of a larger motion that more closely resembles how the body moves during activity. It’s usually done at the beginning of a workout after warming up, and it also can be done following a workout and after a cool-down period.
In dynamic stretching, movements take a muscle or joint through a repetitive motion, with the body part moving further during each repetition. This form of stretching can help lower the risk of overuse injuries because it reduces stiffness in muscles and joints. Dynamic stretching serves as an ideal component of a pre-workout warm up because it helps prepare the muscles for full activation and the joints for movement.
In dynamic stretching, the athlete focuses on gradually increasing tension rather than quickly stretching as far as possible and holding the stretch.
For comparison of static stretching to dynamic stretching, see this video.
How Can You Incorporate Dynamic Stretching Into Your Workout?
To reap the benefits of dynamic stretching, consider a full-body dynamic stretching workout prior to your aerobic exercise. To work every part of the body in dynamic stretching, incorporate approximately 12 to 14 reps of each of these movements.
- Simple rotations of the head and neck in both directions.
- Trunk rotations.
- Side-to-side trunk twists.
- Trunk twists while stretching the chest and shoulders.
- Bending at the hips and swinging the arms from side to side.
- Small and large circle arm rotations in both directions. Each set can be performed on one arm at a time to achieve better range of motion.
- Cross extensions, consisting of moving the opposite arm and leg together in a swinging motion.
- Hip rotations.
- High leg swings. Hold on to a tree or wall to maintain balance, and don’t bend the back or touch the knees with the elbows, which can lead to back injury.
- High leg swings in front, bent leg in back.
- Hip hinge: Bend forward until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings.
After performing the set of dynamic stretching exercises, you can move on to an aerobic activity like riding an exercise bike, running or walking to further warm up your muscles. Then consider adding several more challenging dynamic stretching moves, including:
- Lunges, keeping the knees and hips at a 90-degree angle on both sides. The knees should not go further than the toes.
- Jumping lunges.
- Squats and jumping squats.
- Running in place with hands on the ground. Perform the move with the knees inside the arms, then repeat with the knees outside the arms.
- Cat camel: Go from a straight back to a curved back.
- Push-up into a “cobra” position, lifting with the arms as the back curves.
By making dynamic stretching part of your aerobic workout routine, you can help increase your flexibility and warm up your muscles while minimizing the risk of injury.
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