Fitness
benefits of dynamic stretching before exercise

7 Huge Benefits of Dynamic Stretching Before Exercise

If you want to know the benefits of dynamic stretching before exercise, this article will show you how dynamic stretching can make your workouts more rewarding.

Most people are familiar with static stretching. Which is basically stretching muscles and joints for a duration without movement.

Even though static stretching has many benefits, it’s not the best way to warm up. Stretching cold muscles can strain ligaments and tendons. It’s safer to do static stretches after workout.

For your warm up routine, do dynamic stretching.

If you’re not familiar with dynamic stretching, it’s basically using repeated movement to stretch muscles and joints. Arm circles and leg swings are good examples of dynamic stretches.

Choose different dynamic stretches depending on the exercises you intend to perform.  For lower body workouts do stretches that loosen the hamstrings, quads, glutes and calves. And for back and bicep workouts, do arm and back stretches.

Here are the benefits of dynamic stretching in a warm up.

1. Lowers risk of injury

Most people start their workouts without warming up. This is a big mistake because training cold muscles and joints increases risk of injury.

Dynamic stretching will increase blood flow to the muscles, ligaments and tendons. And this will reduce the likelihood of an injury. Especially when performing high intensity exercises like hill sprint training.

Doing dynamic stretches can even help you recover faster from injuries.

A 5-10 minute stretching routine will help prevent injuries.

2. Improves range of motion

Dynamic stretching before exercise will reduce muscle stiffness and improve range of motion. As a result, you’ll be able to perform exercises which require a wide range of motion like deep squats.

Using full range of motion helps burn more calories and enhances muscle growth.

To improve range of motion, do dynamic stretches which mimic the exercises you’ll do in the workout.

3. May improve coordination

Some dynamic stretches like high knees and lunges with twist require coordination. Doing them regularly will improve your coordination.

Now, you may think that coordination is only important in athletics but it can be helpful when performing daily tasks like driving.

4. Improves flexibility

Most people are stiff. In fact, you’ll be surprised to find out that folks who look fit can’t touch their toes. And this is a shame because flexibility has many benefits.

Doing dynamic stretching in a warm up will improve your flexibility. And as a result, make you stronger. Research shows that flexible muscles are stronger than stiff ones.

5. Will mentally prepare you for the workout

Have you ever quit a workout after 3 or 5 reps? I’m willing to bet that you didn’t warm up that day.

Warming up switches the body and brain into workout-mode.  This mental shift reduces the likelihood of quitting a workout after a few reps.

If you’re too cranky to exercise in the morning, do dynamic stretching for 5 minutes and you’ll be ready for the workout.

6. May improve workout performance

You’re likely to do more reps and set personal bests when you do dynamic stretching before workout. In fact, experts say that people run faster and longer when they warm up with dynamic stretches.

7. Can help eliminate pain

Stiff muscles and joints can cause pain. For instance, tight hip flexors have been linked to lower back pain.

Doing dynamic stretching will loosen tight muscles and keep you pain free. You may need to add static stretching to your routine if the pain is severe.

Here are the best dynamic stretches for your next workout.

Arm circles

Arm circles will increase blood circulation in the arms and shoulders. Do them when getting ready for an upper body workout.

How to perform

Stand upright and keep your feet hip-width apart.

Raise your hands sideways until they’re parallel to the floor.

Make small clockwise circles with your arms for 30 seconds.

Rest for 15 seconds then do counterclockwise circles with the arms for 30 seconds.

Leg swings

Leg swings warm up the legs and glutes. Add them to your warm up routine when doing a leg and butt workout. They can also be beneficial when going for a run.

How to perform

Stand next to a wall and place on hand on it for support.

Lift one leg then swing it back and forth while keeping it straight.

Swing it 30 times then switch legs and do the same number of swings.

Performing this exercise without holding on to a wall can help you improve balance.

Opposite leg toe touches

This is one of the best full body dynamic stretches. It’ll stretch the hamstrings, glutes, arms, back, and shoulders.

How to perform

Stand upright in a stance wider than shoulder width.

Raise your arms sideways until they are parallel to the floor.

Bend forward without bending the knees and touch your left toes with the right arm.

Rise up to starting position then bend again and this time reach for the right toes with the left arm.

Keep alternating this movement after each rep.

Lunge with twist

Lunges are one of the best leg and butt exercises. You can warm up for a lunges workout by doing lunges with twist.

How to perform

Stand upright then lunge forward and get in the lunge position.

Make sure the front knee is bent at 90 degrees and the rear knee doesn’t touch the floor.

Stretch your hands out in front and keep them parallel to the floor.

Twist your torso to the left as far as flexibility allows and then twist it to the right side. Repeat this movement.

High knees

High knees will give you a full body warm up. They mainly stretch the hamstrings.

How to perform

Stand upright and keep the core tight.

Raise the right leg and keep its knee bent. Raise the knee as high as possible.

Return the leg to the floor then raise left knee as high as possible.

Keep alternating legs after each rep and remember to swing your hands back and forth.

Inchworm exercise

Inchworm is one of the best full body exercises and it may not be a warm up exercise for people who are out of shape because it’s a little challenging. It activates the arms, shoulders, core and legs.

How to perform

Stand upright and keep your legs shoulder-width apart.

Bend forward and place your hand on the floor as close to the feet as possible while keeping the knees straight.

Walk out with your arms until you get in the plank position. Then walk back to starting position and repeat.

Final word

Now that you know the benefits of dynamic stretching before exercise, don’t skip warm-up. Sparing 5 minutes to warm up can save you from weeks or months of pain.

Start dynamic stretching at low intensity then increase intensity as the body gets warmer.

Do you do dynamic stretching in your warm up?

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