In the gym, you will be told how important it is to stretch during your warm-up. Stretching is important to get your temperature rising. There are two types of stretching – static and dynamic. Static stretching requires you to hold a stretch for 10 seconds or more, while remaining motionless. Dynamic stretching means you move as you stretch.
For decades, static stretching was the popular warm-up for athletes. But today’s athlete relies on dynamic warm-ups, which became popular around 15 years ago, as part of their routine.
Prior to working out, you should spend five to 10 minutes stretching, which should get your heart rate up a bit. Stretching prior to a workout will prevent strain, get your blood flowing, enhance flexibility, and decrease muscle tension.
Examples of dynamic stretches include: arm circles, kicking stretches, walking on your toes (and then heels), inch worms, leg swings, and walking lunges.
The main reasons dynamic stretching is beneficial are as follows:
Other benefits include increased endurance, improved coordination, improved balance, and improvements in mental preparedness. A dynamic warm-up will also elevate your heart rate and increase the number of calories burned during your workout as well. To some, dynamic stretching may feel like a workout.
Don’t forget to stretch again after the workout in order to prevent muscle soreness and injury.
If you’re new to dynamic stretching, begin gradually – and smoothly, and if you are unsure of which stretches will best benefit you ask one of our certified personal trainers.