Fitness Friday May 25, 2018
DON’T STRETCH: DYNAMIC WARM UP
SSG Charles Williams
Many studies have shown an increase in performance and a decrease in injury when a dynamic warm up is performed before every workout compared to a static stretching warm up. A dynamic warm up is a series of movements designed to increase body temperature, activate the nervous system, and increase range of motion. In short we want to let our bodies know we are about to work out and that it needs to get the desired muscles ready for activity.
Let’s say your workout is to run one mile as fast as you can. The main target area is going to be the lower body with some upper body movements. You can start off with a light ¼ mile jog, just to get your body moving and the blood flowing. Then go into some more dynamic movements, for example; high knees and butt kickers. These will target all the same muscles used for running. Walking lunges provide great activation of the glutes, hamstrings, and calves. The Tin man will increase the range of motion in your hips and hamstrings—and give you a good shoulder warm up as well. During your dynamic warm up you might notice some areas that are really tight due to mobility issues or soreness from a previous workout. After your warm up you can work on the trouble areas with some mobility equipment like a foam roller or lacrosse ball. Loosening up the soft tissue with a foam roller will increase your range of motion which increases your performance and decreases the chance of injury.
Next time you’re planning out your workout schedule make sure to allow time for a proper dynamic warm up, also if you’re looking for some specific warm up movements check out this great article by James Cerbie (Livestrong, 2017). https://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011246-10-dynamic-warmup-exercises-prime-workout/#slide=1