Prepare Your Body

 

One of the crucial parts of working out is preparing your body to commence your workout and prevent injury. If you prep properly you will obtain an improvement in power, agility and overall performance. But how do I prepare my body? You may ask. You may think that by stretching you will prepare your body, and it will but not your typical static stretching. What you need to do is dynamic stretching.

 

But what is the difference between static and dynamic stretching? The difference between the two is simple.

Static stretching consists of you holding a position that stretches you for 10 seconds or more.

Dynamic stretching is a range of motion your body goes through that stretches you. Unlike static stretching, when you reach the full length of the range of motion you can pause but for no more than 4 seconds (depends on the type dynamic stretch you are doing).

The reason for doing dynamic stretching before a workout, instead of static stretching, is because if you do static stretches you may suffer a weakening of your muscles and/or alter or impair neurological function in the active musculature so it actually hinders your body’s performance as shown in the following studies: ** . They are however good for post workout cool down.

Dedicating about 10min before a workout for a warmup that includes dynamic exercises will strengthen your muscles in the range you put them through, they will also be elongated and help on coordination and balance as shown in the following study: **

 

Here is one way your dynamic exercise routine could go.

First you need to increase your body temperature. Just like when hand washing dishes. Running hot water before scrubbing will loosen up stubborn food for it to be removed easily. Increasing your body temperature will warm up and loosen up your muscles to get you ready for the action. You can do this by doing jumping jacks, jump rope or any other cardio for about 5 minutes but not intensely.

After you finish your cardio you will do your dynamic stretches for the next 5 minutes.  It is best practice to focus on dynamic exercises that will target the muscle groups that you will be using for your workout. For example, if you are doing leg day for your workout choose to do exercises that benefit that muscle group like walking quad stretch or alternate toe touches.

Alternately you can add foam rolling to your pre-workout. It will make your pre-workout longer and will hurt initially but it is highly beneficial. It is a massage that loosens up tendons and sore muscles. Make sure the rolling exercises are done properly otherwise it will lead to injury.

Now that you know the befits and steps to do a dynamic warm up you can begin to do your own dynamic exercise!

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