What you do just before your workout begins has a big impact on what you are able to do during your workout. Static stretches may help flexibility but may not do such a good job at preparing your body to move quickly and efficiently. A lot of people disregard their warm up as boring and just a waste of time. When it is, in fact, one of the most IMPORTANT aspects of your workout and with our mornings getting colder this becomes even more important.
What Is a Dynamic Warm-Up?
A dynamic warm-up uses stretches that are “dynamic,” meaning you move as you stretch.
A certain amount of joint movement, strength and stability is needed to run. Restrictions in mobility decreases the joints shock absorption and increases the load that goes through the joints.
A good warm up including dynamic stretching and mobility exercises play an important part in preventing this.
A dynamic warm up many advantages:
1.It activates muscles you will use during your workout. – It increases blood flow, muscle temperature, and the elasticity of tendons and ligaments.
2.Dynamic stretching improves range of motion. It enhances coordination and motor ability, as well as stimulating the nervous system.
3.Dynamic stretches improve body awareness.
4.Warming up in motion enhances muscular performance and power
A warm up should start with a general cardiovascular warm-up lasting 5-10 min, then the dynamic stretching. It should include all the major muscle groups, plus some upper body and trunk work which helps with breathing as well.
Your whole-body functions as a unit and mobility exercises work on joints from your neck to your toes. If one area is tight other areas will be affected and injuries can occur.
Select 8-10 exercises to be performed over 20-30m.
Some examples are marching, skipping, high knees, butt kicks, lunges, grape vine, leg kicks and calf walks. For the upper body- arm swings and trunk rotations.
The more intense the training session, the more thorough the warm-up needs to be.
Dynamic stretching and mobility training should be carried out before every workout. It has an accumulative effect over an extended period of time. After about four weeks or so, you should notice appreciable gains in your mobility, flexibility and ability to move smoothly during your training sessions. Best of all, you should notice an improvement in your workouts and performance.
I hope it’s now clear that a solid dynamic warm-up can effectively prepare your body for exercise. Next time you go for a jog, play some hoops, or hit the gym, give this warm-up a try. Your body will thank you. Your next Park Run could be a PB!
The Tri club has a running group every Tuesday, 6pm at Glen Willow. All ages and abilities welcome.