dynamic warm-up

Summary:  We introduce you to dynamic warm-up and what that really means. Gone are the days of stretchy warm-ups, and we are teaching you how to warm up properly before starting your exercise. We introduce you to dynamic warm-up and what that means.

Dynamic Warm Up exercises

There was a time when stretching was considered a prerequisite to any form of exercise. In fact, stretching before athletic events was thought of as a way to prevent a sharp pull or injury. As with most misconceptions, time proves them wrong, and we eventually figure out the truth – or if not, science does!

Various research showed that jumpers jump less high when they stretch before their jumps. The same goes for runners who stretch before the race. These runners tend to run slower. And weightlifters are not left out of this equation either because it seems that weightlifters are lifting weaker when they stretch before lifting. The conclusion is that stretching before workouts impedes rather than enhances our body’s performance – and with good reason.

What is the science behind this?

Think of this as the concept of expansion and contraction. If you keep or fold your legs in a static position for a longer period, your muscles naturally contract. If you try switching positions too quickly, your muscles might not be able to adjust, and you could damage them easily.  In the winter, and in colder periods of the year this issue gets even more intense. As with anything that expands and contracts, switching from one to another should be a gradual process. Both regular stretching and static stretching can overextend your muscles and wear them out before you even start your workout.

Dynamic warm-up exercises

Its certainly the is the best method to warm up but what does it mean? Instead of squats and stretches, dynamic warm-ups are a combination of different routines that effectively loosen the muscles, and warm up you up for the main exercise. When it comes to warm-ups today, dynamic warm-ups are by far the most beneficial! – and the best part is you are strong and injury free at the end of your routine.

A few more added benefits:

  • Dynamic warm-ups also help to activate your central nervous system; they prime your muscles for a better workout with a heightened effort.
  • Another benefit of dynamic warm-up exercises is that they help improve your blood circulation, which means you perform better in each exercise.
  • Supports muscle flexibility
  • Through dynamic warm-ups, your body is warmed up properly, thus giving your joints and muscles that maximum flexibility.
  • When you have an office job, and you sit at your desk all day,  dynamic warm-ups will also help to loosen the muscles that get locked and are most susceptible to injuries due to all the sitting you do.

After a dynamic warm-up, even deep squats don’t hurt as much because your stiff and constricted muscles are flexible enough that expanding and contracting doesn’t result in wear and tear! When you workout, especially for those who do heavy strength training (using dumbbells and barbells), be sure to do some dynamic warm-up sets before you go jumping into those weights. Do a few sets of only a few reps, increase the weight intermittently before you start your exercise.

Ready to get in on the action?

Here are some examples of Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises:

  • 20 bodyweight squats
  • 2-3 minutes of jumping rope
  • 10 hip extensions
  • 50 jumping jacks (With jumping jacks, you pull your shoulder blades backward, then extend your arms and focus on the movement to loosing up those cold muscles)
  • 5 lunges (per leg)
  • 10 forward leg swings (per leg)
  • 5 hip rotations each leg (raise your feet like you are stepping over a fence)
  • 10 side leg swings (each leg)
  • 10-20 pushups ( depending on your fitness levels)
  • 10 Spiderman (each leg)

Dynamic warm-ups come in handy as well if your chest and arms are particularly sore or tight, these two movements can help ease those tight and sore spots:

  • Shoulder rotations: hold your arms straight out to your sides, then start moving your arms slowly in a circular motion. Pick up the pace while making bigger circles.
  • Arm swings: hold your arms straight out to your sides, then start swinging them slowing and cross them in front of your chest.