Why Dynamic Stretching is the Best Warm-up

A Dynamic Stretching!

Dynamic StretchingDynamic stretching is a warm-up, to get the blood flowing correctly and release any tension. Dynamic stretching is a movement-based type of stretching. This stretching is a warm-up activity which includes continuous controlled movement.

Dynamic stretching isn’t only beneficial for athletes; everyone can benefit from Dynamic Stretches. This kind of stretching is a type of stretching that is done while moving. Dynamic stretching is the choice of trainers when it comes to team players.

The benefit of dynamic stretching is that it prepares the muscles and joints in a more specific manner since the body is going through motions it will likely repeat in the workout.

What is Dynamic Stretching? Why is Dynamic Stretching important?

In the gym we like to take you through many variations of warm-ups and movements (D-ROM) to prepare you for your workout.  You may be wondering if there is vital importance in doing a warm-up and movements? The answer you will get from all the trainers in the gym is, “ABSOLUTELY!”  But that doesn’t always answer the question of why it is important that we spend the time to get you properly warmed up and mobilized.

After various warm-ups consisting of:  inch worms, rowing, running, and other goodies in order to get your body temperature rising, we like to spend time mobilizing and practicing movements which are associated with the workload for the hour.  This type of movement is called Dynamic Stretching.  For example,  Shawn would send you on a warm-up run around the block for 400 meters.  Once you are properly warmed up, he would have the class gather into a group  wherein he would take you through a series of movements that consists of:  air squats, leg kicks, lunges, and jump squats.

This series of dynamic movements would be great for setting you up to do a strength series of squats, dead-lifts, or split-squats. Dynamic stretching are active movements of muscle that bring forth a stretch but are not held in the end position.  The opposite of this is static stretching, consisting of stretching in which the position is held for any given amount of time. Read more here.

One of the main purposes of this stretching is to prepare the body for activity or sport, which is why dynamic stretching is so effective as part of a warm-up routine.

7 Dynamic Warm Ups

The solution? Dynamic warm ups involve compound movements that allow you to stretch and warm up simultaneously – essentially moving the body while you stretch. “Warm-ups that simulate moves you’ll be performing during the workout work best,” says Amy Ashmore, PhD, exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Try these seven dynamic stretches that can help you warm up before your next workout.

1. Hip Circles: Stand on one leg, using a countertop for support, and gently swing the opposite leg in circles out to the side. Perform 20 circles in each direction. Switch legs. Progressively increase the size of the circles as you become more flexible.

2. Arm Circles: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold arms out to the sides, palms down, at shoulder height. Gently perform 20 circles in each direction. Progressively increase the size of the circles as you become more flexible.

3. Arm Swings: Stand with arms out in front, parallel to the floor, palms facing down. Walk forward as you swing arms in unison to the right so your left arm is in front of your chest and fingers point out to the right. Keep torso and head facing forward – only move at the shoulder joints. See more here.

Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching beneficial in sports utilizing momentum from form, and the momentum from static-active stretching strength, in an effort to propel the muscle into an extended range of motion.

Dynamic Stretching Routine: Best Full Body Warm Up

Dynamic Stretching Benefits

There are some HUGE benefits to dynamic stretching, which is an excellent full body warm up before any type of intense activity whether you’re about to play sports, or lift weights. Just about every athletic team in the country from little league to professional sports performs dynamic stretching before exercising.

Dynamic Stretching Benefit #1: Full Body Warm Up
The traditional warm up is to walk, or run on a treadmill, or some other low level cardio activity for 5-10 minutes to raise the temperature of your muscles to help prevent injury. Dynamic stretching warms your body up even faster than low level aerobic activity and offers other benefits. I sometimes combine a couple minutes of low level aerobic activity, such as jump rope, or even jumping jacks at the end of my dynamic stretching routine to get my heart rate up. Just an idea!

Dynamic Stretching Benefit #2: Improves Kinesthetic Awareness
The major downside of the traditional warm up routine of jogging is that it doesn’t prepare you for the intensity of your workout and all the different movement patterns that you will likely use. Kinesthetic awareness is the understanding of where your body is in space and time. For example, if you try to touch the tips of your fingers together on both hands, that’s a simple example of kinesthetic awareness, which is very important before working out. Read full article here.

Dynamic Stretching Can Improve Performance

Dynamic stretching is controlled, smooth, and deliberate, whereas ballistic stretching is uncontrolled, erratic, and jerky. This kind of stretching is active movements of muscle that bring forth a stretch but are not held in the end position. Dynamic movement and stretching are a normal part of most sporting activities.

Static, active and dynamic stretching are all forms of flexibility training. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what static and dynamic stretching are, contact us here: (619) 831-8777. To those who are interested in optimizing a fitness routine or training session, dynamic stretching can help contribute to a solution.

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Author: Allison Yardley

Allison has 6 years in practice as a Chiropractor's Assistant and is a licensed Massage Therapist who writes for numerous blogs online. Feel free to comment or ask questions regarding any of Alley's blog posts.