If you had a nickel for every time your gym trainer told you to practice stretching before and after starting your exercise routine, you’d be really rich, right?
It’s not for nothing, though. Stretching muscles increases their flexibility and decreases tension.
And did you know that it’s considered as essential as both resistance and cardio exercises?
In short, it’s a good idea to incorporate dynamic stretches to take things to the next level.
What is Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretches are warm-up exercises mimicking our regular movements or the athletic activities that you’ll perform after the warm-up.
Interestingly, you can practice dynamic stretching at any time throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be just before some high-intensity activity for warming up.
Dynamic stretches involve not only your muscles but also your joints. That is why they fall into the category of Range of Motion (ROM) exercises.
7 Dynamic Stretches to Perform Before a Workout Session for Warm-Up
Before a workout routine that will require you to exert yourself, it’s a good idea to prepare your joints and muscles by trying dynamic stretches.
These stretches are quite simply the best moves to warm your body up before you start working out.
Here are seven dynamic stretches for you to incorporate into your exercise routine:
1: Dynamic Pigeon
Tight hips can be really uncomfortable, whether you’re going out for a walk or heading to the gym for your leg day. But the Dynamic Pigeon is an excellent stretch to loosen the glutes. It also helps to stretch the flexors and rotators of the hips. This is achieved by the rotation of the front and the back leg.
To perform this, you need to take the pose of a push-up first.
Then, bring one knee towards the hand on that side. Remember that your shin must stay parallel to your hips.
Next, lower the hips to the floor.
You have to go back to the push-up pose once you start feeling the stretch.
Repeat this with the other leg.
2: Leg Swing
This stretch exercise is to help to relax your hamstrings and hips before you go for high-intensity exercises, or even for activities like cycling or running. Maintain a rhythmic tempo to perform this stretch, and your muscles will open up in no time to get you ready for the activity you want to perform.
To perform the stretch, you’ll need to start by standing with your feet apart, with the hands on your hips.
Shift your body weight to one foot and lift the heel while bending the other knee a little.
Then, swing the leg to the front and the back, like kicking a ball.
Continue the sequence and switch to the other side.
3: Fire Hydrant Circle
Is your lower body too stiff for workouts and activities? Then the Fire Hydrant Circle stretch might just be the right exercise for you. It will strengthen your gluteus maximus, the muscle that controls the major movements of the hips. You can even try some variations of it to achieve a stronger core.
For this stretch, you have to start by getting on all fours.
Your legs should be bent at 90 degrees, and you should brace your core to ensure that while performing the stretch, nothing other than your leg moves.
Stretch out one leg to the side while it is still in its 90-degree position and move in a rotating motion.
4: Hinge and Reach
This stretch is going to help with the tightness in your hips and shoulders to give you a full-body experience.It’s an excellent warm-up activity to get your muscles and joints ready for different types of exercises and recreational or daily activities. For best results, maintain slow and controlled movements.
To perform, you need to stand with your feet slightly parted while keeping the hands relaxed on either side of the body.
Maintaining a soft knee bend, stretch the hands forward as your glutes are pressed back.
Then, pushing the hips to the front, go back to an erect position while you swing the arms.
This move targets your abs, back, and neck, and is one of the best dynamic stretches to perform before a workout session. It boosts the mobility of the thoracic spine while preparing your body for everyday movements. It strengthens your neck and spine while stretching the hips, back, and abdomen.
To start, you have to bring your body to the ground on all fours.
Your hands remain exactly beneath your shoulders and parallel to the knees that stay just below the hips.
Now round the spine after exhaling.
Then, inhale and bend the spine downward while your belly turns out towards the floor.
6: Leg Crossover
This is one of the best Dynamic stretches that you can incorporate into your warm-up routine before you take on a physically demanding routine or performance, or simply to relax the muscles of the body and feel more energized for daily activities. It helps to open the IT bands, hamstrings, and glutes.
To perform this exercise, you have to lie down on the ground, facing up, and stretch out your arms on either side.
Then, bend one knee slightly, and then cross the other leg across the body so that the toes of that leg meet the hand on the other side.
Go back to the original position and repeat with the other leg.
This stretch is the ideal exercise if you’ve been facing problems with your lower back and hips. It’s a safe movement to gain mobility and relax the hamstrings. It thus pays attention to the often-ignored lower back. It is very much like Leg Crossover, except you have to perform this with your face downwards.
To perform this exercise, you have to start by lying flat on the floor.
You will face down, and your arms stretched out on either side to form a T.
Then, bring one leg across to the body to the other side such that the toes of the leg meet the hands on the opposite side.
Repeat the process with the other leg.
To wrap it up…
You can perform dynamic stretches before cardio and resistance training, weightlifting, and sports. However, before activities like dancing, gymnastics, or yoga, you can go for static stretching that requires you to hold one position for over 45 seconds. But avoid dynamic stretches if you’re injured.
If you’re going for physically taxing activities, don’t forget to throw in some dynamic stretches in the warm-up routine. They’ll boost your energy, and you’ll feel ready to conquer the world of sports and lose all the pounds you’ve set out to shed off. But don’t forget to speak to your physician and your trainer before starting on the new stretches.
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