Remember way back when in middle school when our coach would have us circle up and start stretching; stretch our upper body by taking our arms and crossing one over our chest, hold it there, then the other? Or stretch out our legs by touching our toes, holding it there one foot and then then other? It has been a forever thought that static stretching was a must before any active hour, but after years of research its been found that that’s not the case!
Introducing: Dynamic Stretching.
Dynamic Stretching offers the body many benefits before engaging in any sports or fitness activity.
Prepares the body for what is about to happen.
It keeps the body continuously moving even when engaged in stretching positions. Because of the repetitive movements, the body begins to increase its muscle core temperate which helps increase blood circulation and warming up the the muscles, ligaments and tendons in prep for a vigorous workout, practice or game. Unlike static stretching which does the opposite, dropping your core temperature.
Bodies flexibility improves.
Dynamic stretching will improve range of motion around the joints and tendons allowing your body to loosen up its elasticity. With more flexibility you maximize and improve performance.
It’s a performance enhancer.
These movements will improve our body’s awareness by challenging balance and coordination, which in turn enhances our performance on the field or in the gym.
List of great dynamic stretches
Hip Stretch with a Twist:
Start in a push up position, hands directly beneath your chest, neutral spine and neck. Bring one knee forward , placing that foot flat on the ground behind your hands. Take the opposite side arm and extend it straight up into the air. Open up your hip to turn the torso, keeping your core tight. Bring your hands back to starting position. Repeat the same movement with the other side. Alternate for the requested number of reps.
Begin in standing position, bend down and touch your hands to the floor keeping your legs straight. Walk your hands all the way out until you are in a plank position, continue to keep your core engaged at all times. Walk your hands back to standing position. Repeat for the requested number of reps.
Begin with your legs shoulder width apart lowering yourself into a regular squat; shoot your hips back, vertical chest and neutral neck. Explosively jump up. Lower your body back down into a squat, repeat for the requested number of reps.
Knee to Chest:
Similar to a running stride, bring your knee towards your chest before bringing your foot back to the ground. Alternate each leg while staying in place. Make sure to bring your knees to the chest by hugging your shin while stepping up on your toes with the opposite foot.
Begin in a standing position, engage your core, lift one leg up while reaching your toes with the opposite hand. While waking forward, return to your beginning position, now lift your opposite leg reaching your toes with the other hand.