5 Dynamic Warmup Moves to Prep You for Any Workout
By: Shay-lon Moss
It’s leg day so you decide to stretch beforehand to get the most out of your workout. You begin your stretch session with a static hamstring stretch, then decide to do some standing glute stretches standing in place. Surely, this is how you prepare for leg day right? Well, not quite. Neither one of these stretches will give you any type of performance boost (such as increased range of motion or 1RM) on compound barbell lifts such as the squat. Instead of doing static stretches, you should be doing some dynamic stretching; what is dynamic stretching you ask?
According to Dictionary.com, dynamic stretching is a “routine in which momentum and active muscular effort are used to stretch and the end position is not held”. In other words, moving while stretching – warming up your body, and loosening your tight muscles.
According to Idea Fit (Jeffrey M. Janot, Ph.D, Corey Rement and Lance C. Dallek, Ph.D), dynamic stretching offers immediate benefits versus static stretching before a workout. Some of which include:
Increased blood flow and temperature
Activation of muscles that will be involved in the activity
Mimics training or competitive performance which is ideal in order to get the most out of the workout
The rehearsal effect increases the likeliness of coordination
Here are some examples of a dynamic warm-up that can be done prior to the start of your exercise:
1. High Knees: 10 yards, or you can choose to do them in place for 30-60 seconds.
2. Inchworms: Stand with feet at hip width, hinge forward at the waist, and touch the floor with your palms (if necessary, bend your knees). Walk your hands forward until you are supporting all your weight on your hands and toes (pushup position). Your body should make a straight line, while your hands line up with your shoulders. Hold this position for 10 counts. Lastly, walk your feet forward to meet your hands and keep your palms on the floor - bending your knees if necessary.
3. Frankies: Standing on your feet at hip width, lift one leg forward, making sure to not bend your knees. Your leg should be perpendicular to your torso, Using the same hand as the foot that is lifted, reach for your toes. Hold this position for 10 counts. Continue to do this movement with the opposite leg while walking in a straight line.
4. Walking lunge with a twist: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding a medicine ball (optional) in front of you with elbows bent at 90 degrees. Step forward with your left foot in a lunge position (keep your knee over your foot, don’t twist at the knee). From your torso, twist your body left. Maintain a controlled movement, return your torso to the center and step forward with the opposite foot - repeating this movement.
5. Leg swings: Standing tall with feet flat on the ground and hands on your hips and/or one hand gripping a chair for balance, Lift one straight leg up, and swing it straight forward and then backward in a controlled “pendulum-like” fashion. Return to starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
The next time you decide to hit up the gym, get your body warmed up and ready for action with some dynamic stretching.