Summer has arrived and whether you are taking your workouts outside to the pavement or keeping cool in the gym, a proper warm up routine is always crucial. As mileage increases, so does stress on the body. Warming up improves overall joint mobility, relieves stiffness and helps prevent injuries from repetitive stress. It raises core body temperature, increases blood flow to muscles as well as improves flexibility, balance and coordination.
Today, dynamic warm ups are standard routines used for athletes ranging from novice to professionals. Dynamic stretching is stretching with movement. Ideally, your routine should involve movements that mimic your sport or workout. For example, a walking lunge with trunk rotation targets your hips, legs and core, which are required for playing soccer. Dynamic stretching has been shown to improve range of motion and body awareness. Studies show that dynamic warm-ups can help enhance performance and power compared to no stretching or static stretching.
Take 5-10 minutes to include a dynamic warm up in your routine. Here is are examples of a few dynamic stretches:
1: Standing quad pulls
2: Standing knee to chest
3: Walking lunge with reach over
4: Tin soldier
5: Dog and bush
6: Inchworms/Bear walks
Don’t worry, static stretching is not out of the picture. Follow up later this month to read about proper cool down post-workout!