The dynamic warm-up is a form of active stretching that properly prepares the body for both physical exertion and sports performance. A dynamic stretching routine improves overall range of motion, increases blood and oxygen flow to soft tissues, and reduces the risk of injury.
Here are six dynamic warm up stretches that you can do prior to engaging in your next physical activity:
Low Lunge with Rotation (above)– Step forward with your left leg into a lunge position (ankles, knees, hips and shoulders facing forward, torso upright) trying to place your left elbow on the ground as close to your left heel as possible. Simultaneously anchor your right hand into the ground and rotate your upper body towards your left leg, keeping your knee pointed forwards
Frankenstein Walk -Keeping your left leg straight, kick it up in front of you as high as you can, trying to touch the fingertips of the opposite arm – basically a straight leg march – then repeat with the right leg. This is an excellent way to warm up the hamstrings.
Lateral Lunge -Start in an upright, standing position to perform the static variation of the side-lunge stretch. Turn your feet outward about 45 degrees, then step to the left about 2 feet with your left foot, moving it away from your right foot, which should remain flat on the floor. Squat on your left leg, keeping your right leg straight, hands in front of you. Stop when you feel a gentle stretch through your right inner thigh, then hold for A second.Repeat the stretch on the opposite side, stepping sideways with your right foot instead of your left.
Quad Walk -While walking forwards, pull your left heel in to your butt, then step and repeat with the right leg, continuing with alternate legs. This is ideal for loosening up the quadriceps and the hip flexors.
Over the Fence – Facing in the opposite direction to the way you want to travel, raise your left knee as high as possible and rotate it behind you as if you were trying to walk backwards and step over an imaginary fence. Repeat on the right leg and continue with alternate legs.
Inchworms -Assume a push-up position on the ground, and walk your feet close to your hands while keeping the legs as straight as possible. Then return to the start position. Repeat over the prescribed distance, making sure your hands and feet never leave the ground.