A well-designed warm-up can mentally and physically prepare you for your workout. It helps increase blood flow to your muscles, raises your core body temperature, enhances your reaction time and improves the range of motion of your joints.
So what is a dynamic warm-up or stretch? And it’s easier to start with what it isn’t.
The opposite of a dynamic stretch is a static stretch.
Static stretches are long holds, such as when you bend down to touch your toes, and you hold. Or when you put your arm behind your head and hold down your elbow in that classic tricep stretch, you might have learned in gym high school gym class.
Those have a time and place and are usually best for post-workout stretches when your body temperature is already high and your muscles have loosened up.
You should never do static stretches before your workout. Think of your muscle and joints as an elastic band. If an elastic band is cold and you try to stretch it, it has a higher chance to snap.
Funny enough, static stretches decrease athletic performance because these hold and stretches actually tire out the muscles.
Check out Post -Workout Stretch Below
So if static stretches are long holds, then dynamic stretches are a specific sequence of movements that you can do before a workout. They have more of a flow.
Below is a 5 minute 5 sec dynamic stretch sequence that can be done before your home workouts. The dynamic warm-up will start at your neck, shoulders, chest, back, hips and legs.
Performing a dynamic warm-up is necessary to get your blood flowing through your muscles and increase the synovial fluid to lubricate your muscles.
Synovial fluid: Is a thick liquid that coats your in between your joints. I often compare it to the oil needed for your car. This fluid cushions the ends of bones and reduces friction when you move your joints.
You can increase the production of synovial fluid through dynamic stretches.
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When to Use Dynamic Stretching?
Men require more water than women because we generally have a higher energy expenditure and less body fat. On average, 60% of male body weight is water, and in women, it is 55%.
Aside from the most apparent reason, to stay hydrated, there are many other reasons why drinking more water is beneficial to us:
- Increases your energy and strength levels by reducing chances of dehydration
- Thins your blood, so it’s easier for the liver to filter out potentially harmful substances such as alcohol, drugs, germs and other pollutants.
- Replenishes your fluid levels to help prevent muscle soreness
Before going and drinking litres of water, remember to take things slow. Start with an extra glass of water per day and wait 10 days to see how your body reacts to the extra liquid
It should be done anytime that you are about to embark on physical activity. But more specifically
- Home Workouts and Strength Training
- Morning Wake Up Routine
- Jogging or Running on a treadmill
We’ve covered the importance of dynamic stretches for our physical well-being, but they also have an essential role in your mental state.
Having a solid dynamic warm-up sequence gets you mentally prepared to exercise. It builds a routine that helps your body ready for training. If you have been doing a particular stretch routine for many years, it almost becomes meditative, and you go into a trance. Every time you do the same dynamic warm-up, you become more aware of your body and its moving parts.
Having your own dynamic stretch routine will only increase your physical ability and make your workouts more efficient. Create and find a routine that will take no more than 5-10 minutes to complete.