There are a variety of different things you can do to improve your athletic performance. You could use supplements than enhance strength and endurance, or use equipment that allows you to perform an exercise more efficiently. However, there is another approach you can do that is highly effective, which is performing a warm up with dynamic stretches. Let’s take a look at what this is and why it is effective.
This type of stretching goes beyond holding a joint or muscle in place, which is called static stretching that is not very beneficial pre workout. Static stretching has been shown to actually decrease training potential, but is great for use following a workout to assist with muscle recovery.
Stretching dynamically means you are constantly moving your joints and muscles. This could be movements that resemble sport specific movement or could just be exercises that increase your blood flow and range of motion (ROM). ROM has to do with each joint on your body. Some joints are capable of moving in more directions than other.
However, tight joints can lead to more friction causing your potential power output to be less than what it should be.
Research shows that that when your joints have been given the proper warm up required; they are now capable of exerting a lot more force. The research also shows that dynamic stretches are far more beneficial for warming up opposed to static stretching. Dynamic stretches are supposed to be performed for 3-5 minutes for the best results.
This timeframe of continuous movement is similar to a brief cardio session as well. Your heart rate and blood flow are significantly increased, and more calories are burned than just performing static stretching. Basically you have a lot more to gain from this type of stretching prior to all training programs.
As mentioned your body must be in constant movement. You do not need any artificial resistance to complete this type of stretching. Your body weight is good enough for the resistance required. Here are some example exercises to consider:
These are just some of the more common dynamic stretches that you can consider performing. You should note that warming up is not intended to be strenuous on your body and hinder proper training. Five minutes of dynamic stretching can actually be a short workout for people new to training. If this applies to you then you should lower the time down to three minutes and adjust as the week’s progress. The end results are truly beneficial for you once you keep up a good routine of always warming up your joints through constant ROM movements.