Getting Prepared for your Workout: Dynamic Stretching
By Fred Dyck, YWCA Fitness on 25th Manager
No one I have seen at YWCA Fitness on 25th walks into the weight room and immediately start lifting heavy weight. Most all of our members perform some type of warm up. But, occasionally, we will observe that the quality of the warm up can be lacking. We see members perform a few basic static stretches and then proceed with their program. Not preparing your body to move in taxing ways can lead to injury and certainly muscle damage. A proper warm up will prepare you to move by increasing elasticity of muscles and smoothing muscular contractions. A common method advocated by many trainers is a dynamic stretching routine.
Dynamic stretching is a series of active movements preparing the body for its full range of motion; typically, the end position is not held. Dynamic stretching will increase blood flow to your muscles and better prepare you for any demand you place on it through the main focus of your workout.
Typical activities you will see in a dynamic stretching program can include:
- Lite jogs to get the blood flowing
- High knees
- Butt kickers
- Forward lunge and twist
- Alternating reverse lunge with an overhead reach
- Jumping jacks
- Inch worms
- Push up variations
We encourage you to use the gymnasium for these warm up activities. Over the past few months, as often as possible, we open the double doors between the gymnasium and the weight room. The main objective of this is to encourage our weight room users to augment their workouts by using the nice open space that is the gymnasium/basketball court. This space is ideal for a dynamic warm up or even to augment your workout routine with dynamic movements. Use this space to augment your weight room routines.
If you would like some guidance on how to incorporate a dynamic warmup routine into your workout, talk to one of our Fitness Consultants or book a session with one of our Personal Trainers.