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Life in Motion

Benefits of Dynamic Stretching

Sports & Exercise

Whether you’re warming up before a big game or looking for exercises to relieve chronic pain, a dynamic stretching routine will provide many benefits. Dynamic stretching, in which you move through a range of motion, provides a full body warm-up, increases your flexibility, activates your stability and core muscles, and helps you improve your range of motion. Dynamic stretching challenges your muscles and will allow you to perform better on the field or in everyday life.

1. Flexibility Improvement

Muscle weakness and inflexibility are two common causes of both sports injuries and elderly falls. Dynamic stretching can help prevent injuries in athletic endeavors and everyday activities by strengthening the muscles around your joints and increasing their range of motion. 

2. Muscular Performance Improvement

Dynamic stretching has been shown to lead to a statistically significant improvement in activity performance. This form of stretching can improve speed, agility and acceleration.

3. Body Awareness Improvement

Unlike regular static stretching, dynamic stretching can improve your body awareness by mimicking the movements you’ll perform as you exercise. Dynamic stretching can serve as part of a full body warm-up, and it’s even more effective than just a traditional warm-up alone like jogging because it prepares you for the movements and patterns you’ll use during your workout.

Examples of Dynamic Stretches

While you should select dynamic stretches that target the areas of your body you will be using during your workout or sport, here are a few suggestions to try:

Arm circles: Circle your arm backward 10 times and then forward 10 times. Repeat on each arm.

Leg Kicks:Keep your torso tall, and kick your leg out in front of you (to work your hamstrings), then behind you (to stretch your hip flexor) keeping it straight. Alternate legs as you walk.  

Walking lunges: Step forward in a long stride and bend your front leg so that your knee is above your ankle. Drop your back leg so that it’s bent. Perform a lunge on each leg as you walk forward.

Knee to chest: Bring your knee to your chest before pushing your leg back to the ground. Alternate legs, performing these stretches while you walk or from a stationary position.

Dynamic stretching is an effective routine to put into your warm-up, but don’t eliminate static stretching from your workout! After your exercise, you should still perform static stretches as part of your cool down. Static stretching after an activity will also help improve your flexibility and prevent injury.

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