Dynamic vs static stretches!
If you do static stretches before you train, STOP! Static stretches downgrade the nervous system and cool the body down. Save them for after your workout.
Instead, use dynamic mobility exercises to warm up your body pre workout. Dynamic mobility exercises "turn on" the nervous system and prime the body for movement.
Dynamic mobility exercises are exercises that stretch muscles by moving dynamically at a joint.
Static stretches involve holding a muscle in its lengthened position, usually for 30 seconds to two minutes.
The key difference is that dynamic mobility exercises involve motion and static stretches are, well, static.
Don't worry; if you do static stretches in an attempt to oil up your joints before moving, dynamic stretches will do an even better job oiling you up. I totally understand the desire to stretch before a workout; my body often feels like it needs to be primed for movement. Dynamic mobility exercises will do exactly that: prime your body to move!
Pre workout, try these five dynamic mobility exercises. They will warm-up you up, leaving you feeling limber and ready for action!
1. Ankle mobilization: Stand holding something stable. Lift your toes up toward your shins 20 times. Lift your heels off the ground so that you rise up onto your toes. Repeat 20 times.
2. More ankle mobilization: Lift one leg off the ground. Move at your ankle to rotate your foot 10 times clockwise and 10 times counterclockwise. Switch and repeat on the opposite leg.
3. Hip mobilization: Stand with your hands against a wall, feet fairly far away from the wall. Gently swing your right leg side to side in front of your left leg. Imagine your leg is the rope in a bell.
Next stand perpendicular to a wall, with your inside hand resting on the wall. Swing one leg forward and backward like a pendulum.
For both exercises, keep your upper body still. Repeat 10 times and then switch legs.
4. Full lower body primer: Step your right leg forward so you are stretching your left calf—right knee bent, left leg straight, left heel pressing down into the ground behind you. Hold for three seconds. Then bring your left knee up into your chest. Balance on your right leg for three seconds hugging your left knee into you.
Repeat on the other leg. Step the left leg forward so that you stretch your right calf. Make sure to keep both feet facing forward, your back leg straight and your front knee bent.
5. Shoulder and neck mobilization: Lift your right arm and make a circle reaching back behind your body with your arm. Follow your hand with your eyes so that your head rotates. Alternate arms for a total of 20 reps.
For all exercises stay in control and keep the range of motion contained. The intensity of the move should be a four or five out of 10.
Tags: stretching workout:stretching workouts