For the longest time we were told that static stretching was the proper way to loosen up our muscles prior to training or competition. However, we are now aware of the use of dynamic stretching and how this is now heavily advocated as a far more beneficial warm up exercise in order to maximize performance.

“The effectiveness of your warm up can not only affect the likelihood of injury, but also directly impacts your ability to perform to your maximum ability. As such, dynamic stretching plays a major role in maximizing your performance levels and should be a key part of any warm up.”

 Key benefits of dynamic stretching:

1: Dynamic stretching: means your body is still continuously moving, even while stretching. The purpose of warming up is to prepare your muscles. You need to increase your muscles core temperature and dynamic stretching can accomplish this. If you put 5-10 minutes aside before your working out to do static stretching, this can lead to your muscles’ core temperature dropping. Although your muscles may be stretched and feel loose, they will actually be less elastic and not as powerful.

2: Dynamic stretching will prepare your muscles in a sport specific way. While static stretching warm up may loosen off the muscles, it has really has no relevance to what you are actually about to perform. Whether you are preparing for a basketball game or just going for a run. Your body needs to be prepared for the intensity of whatever workout is ahead.Warming up with dynamic stretching will prepare your body for the different types of movement that will be performed at game time.

3: Dynamic stretching gets you mentally prepared for the game ahead. A static stretching warm up is more relaxing then anything else. This can trick your body into a relaxation mode and can be a difficult transition from rest period into competitor mode.

4:  Dynamic stretching helps to improve the range of motion around your joints. This will help reduce the chances of injury. Over time this will improve your performance and maximize your movements due to the increase in flexibility of your joints.

It is clear that dynamic stretching over powers static stretching when preparing for any type of work out. This is should became a part of your workout routine.  A warm up not incorporating dynamic stretching does not fully prepare the muscles for the task ahead, and can potentially inhibit your performance.

Instructions to some dynamic stretching movements http://youtu.be/DkCZym9CT54

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