There are numerous ways to neglect the body. One of the most popular ways (but also the most overlooked), is keeping the body safe during a workout. This is regarding prepping the body for performance or activity. What comes to mind is of course is warming up and stretching.
But what is there was a way to do both at the same time?
Believe it or not, there is. It is called dynamic stretching.
Now dynamic stretching is not to be confused with static stretching, which consists of holding the body in a fixed position for 30 seconds or more, elongating the muscle to help increase blood flow and help release tension. Studies show that static training is possibly more effective post workout as well due to the tension of the muscle fibers from working out. Dynamic stretching is also not doing a static stretch with a bounce or slight movement as well. Dynamic stretching serves a very particular purpose for fitness folks who do very active routines that involve running, plyometrics, HIIT, and even sports specific training.
Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching that attempts to actively stretch or propel the muscle into an extended range of motion that does not exceed the person’s static-passive stretching ability. Many times, the dynamic stretch will in some way mimic the movement of the exercise or training involved. An example would be getting ready for wind sprints. The person knows they will be doing quick and explosive movements with their legs to gain speed, which involves lifting the knees up and propelling off their feet forward. In doing these movements, one must take into consideration certain body parts, such as the groin (which helps with the lifting of the knees), and the calves (which helps propel the feet forward). Certain dynamic stretches can be done to help loosen up and warm up the muscles involved in wind sprints to help prevent injury and improve performance.
Examples of dynamic stretches are (Google each movement):
- High Knees (10-12 reps each leg)
- B-Skips (2 x 20-25 meters)
- Leg Kicks (10-15 reps each leg)
- Open the Gate (10-15 each leg)
- Close the Gate (10-15 each leg)
- Karaoke (2x20-25 meters)
- Walking Butt Kicks (10-12 each leg)
- Forward Leg Swings (10-12 reps each leg)
Dynamic stretching is useful and effective, primarily because it warms the body up and stretches it out at the same time. This not only assists in safety, but time management and even keeping boredom to a minimum. Many people don’t warm up or don’t stretch because they feel it wastes time and is not the most entertaining. Doing a few rounds of high knees, leg skips, and karaoke’s, will not only take away from the boredom, but will also make you feel like you got a little workout in before you worked out.