A dynamic warm-up prepares your muscles for exercise and improves resistance to injury.
A good dynamic warm-up increases range of movement and blood and oxygen flow to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments before they’re called upon to do a serious workout.
A dynamic warm-up uses stretches that are "dynamic" meaning you are moving as you stretch
What Is Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretching is a form of active movement that isn’t about holding a stretch but rather taking your body through ranges of motion that will better prepare you for your workout or sporting activity.
Static stretching is the opposite. It’s where you hold a stretch for an extended period of time. A good warm-up should really focus on using dynamic stretches, not static.
Benefits of a Dynamic Warm Up
- Gradually increases heart rate and core temperature before the actual work out, allowing the athlete to immediately begin high-intensity training
- Provides mental preparation, increased cohesion and motivation in team settings
- Increases balance, stability, and long term flexibility
- Smaller muscles are trained through regular dynamic warm-ups, improving overall conditioning
Sample Dynamic Warm-Up
Dynamic warm-up post with ideas by @strengthcoachtherapy
- Frankensteins (ballistic hamstrings)
- Quad stretch
- Piriformis/glute stretch
- Single leg kickbacks
- Lunge hold rotation + reach
- Hip circles (in then out)
- Hip circles (out then in)
Dynamic Warm-Up by @strengthcoachtherapy
Here is a walking sequence of some of my favorite active stretches. Try before your next run or lift.
There is a ton of posterior chain/hamstring and rotational hip movement here. Curtsy lunges are a sneaky favorite of mine that you don't see every day.
Dynamic Warmup for Runners by @dangiordanodpt
- Perform 5 of these on each side before EVERY run and EVERY workout
- This is a dynamic warmup which can be used for any sport involving the lower extremity
One of the biggest debates in the runner community is “How do I properly warm up prior to activity?”. Growing up most of us were told to static stretch or hold stretches prior to running. Static stretching warm-ups were designed to increase improve your flexibility prior to activity, but it that what we really want?
Recent research has debunked static stretching prior to running. Research shows that static stretching prior to activity may, in fact, decrease our force output, hence decreasing our overall human performance -‘Sports Med. 2017 Aug; 47(8):1531-1541’.
In general, you can complete a great dynamic warm-up in about 10 minutes—5 minutes for your light aerobic component and 5 minutes for the dynamic stretches. If you incorporate foam rolling I would add another 3-5 minute
Hope it’s now clear that a solid dynamic warm-up can effectively prepare your body for exercise. Next time you go for a jog, play sports or hit the gym, give this warm-up a try. Your body will thank you!
- Try This Full-Body Dynamic Warm-Up to Prep for Any Workout. (2016, June 06). Retrieved from https://greatist.com/fitness/full-body-dynamic-warm-up
- Sports Med. 2017 Aug; 47(8):1531-1541