A short definition of dynamic stretching would be – stretching as you are moving. Dynamic stretching is an active movement of your body that brings forth a stretch but is not held statically in the end position.
When it comes to strength training, dynamic stretching and warm-up sets have been proven highly superior to “traditional” types of warm-up routines like jogging or static cycling. Traditional types like these don’t really prepare you for the intensity and all the specific movement patterns of your workout. Think about it this way, during a strength workout, stress is applied to specific muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints; so how would static cycling or jogging prepare your upper body? For example, how would your shoulder joint be prepared for doing a simple push-up? The only positive effect cycling or jogging would have is by raising your temperature and warming up your legs. This is not bad of course, but it is also not enough. Dynamic stretching on the other hand can prepare your body’s connective tissues and muscles by performing targeted movements related to the movement patterns you will perform. More blood is pumped into the parts of the body you are about to train and their temperature rises. This will also increase your joints range of motion required to perform your exercises properly and injury-free. Once again, I’m not saying that some jogging or cycling will hurt. For me, however, doing too much cardio before strength training takes my edge off. If you want to combine some traditional cardio exercise before dynamic stretching, five minutes to raise your body’s temperature is enough. If you want to do more cardio for weight loss purposes, I would recommend doing it after your strength workout.
1. Neck rolls. Standing tall and relaxed, drop the chin close to your chest and gently roll the head toward one shoulder in a semicircular motion. Do 5 rolls in each direction (right and left shoulder) but be careful not to leave the head fall too far backwards. Make slow, big and fluid movements while keeping other muscles that aren’t directly involved in the movement (like your shoulders) relaxed.
2. Shoulder rolls. The shoulder area is one of the most easily tensed areas in our bodies nowadays, due to bad postural habits, lifestyle and mental stress. Again standing tall and relaxed, start rotating your shoulders forwards in a big smooth, circular motion. Bring your shoulders up close to your ears and then back and down as low as possible. Repeat by doing the motion backwards this time. Start slow and increase the speed a bit after 15 seconds. Do two sets of 10 rolls with a 10-15 second rest in between.
3. Arm rotations. Start rotating your arms forward in a crossed position (right arm over left arm and try to alternate after every rotation). Keep your elbows slightly bent using a slow tempo. As you get used to the movements, increase the tempo a bit (as long as it feels comfortable). Do this for 20 seconds. Next rotate your arms forward, one at a time and each one for 15 seconds. Last, repeat all of this again but this time rotating your arms backwards.
10 Easy Exercises For Weight Loss At Home Photo Gallery
4. Dynamic lat stretch. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Gently start to swing arms up and above your head and then back down all the way behind your body. Keep your elbows slightly bended during the movement. As you feel yourself loosening up and getting warmer, try to extend the arms further in each direction. Perform this exercise twice, for 20 seconds with a 10-15 second pause in between.
5. Dynamic chest stretch. Standing again with feet shoulder width apart, raise arms to chest height. Start swinging them across your chest and behind your body gradually increasing the speed a bit. Make sure you keep your arms close to chest height. Perform 10 repetitions twice with a pause of 10-15 seconds.
6. Dynamic shoulder stretch with elastic band. You can also find this exercise online called “Shoulder Dislocations” but I find that name a bit frightening. Don’t worry, you aren’t going to dislocate your shoulders (if you pay attention to my guidelines). This exercise is usually performed with special resistance bands. If you don’t have one, just find a bicycle-wheel inner tube that you don’t need any more. I’m sure there is one lying somewhere around your house. If not then you can buy a cheap one for just 2 dollars instead of spending 30 dollars for a regular resistance band. I actually prefer bicycle tubes because they have the ideal amount of elasticity, not to hard and not too soft. Many people use broomsticks as well but I highly recommend something with elasticity to make sure you don’t injure your shoulders.
a) Start by holding the band about twice as wide as your shoulder width in front of you.
b) Start raising your arms up overhead. Be careful not to allow your shoulders to shrug upwards.
c) Bring the band all the way backwards, always making sure there is enough slack on it that allows you to do this movement without over-stressing your shoulders.
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