In the last blog, we went through the benefits of stretching before a workout or exercising, and some static stretching that can be done quickly and easily in your home or out and about.
This blog will cover dynamic stretching, why you should do it and some simple stretches you can do, step by step.
Dynamic stretching mimics the activity you are about to do and consists of movements with a progressive range of motion each time. Warming up with dynamic stretching will loosen and lengthen the muscles over a series of movements so they will not be overextended when you need them to be ready.
Dynamic stretching can be adapted for weight training by doing your first set with just the bar or a lighter weight.
Dynamic stretches you should do
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold arms out to the side at the same height. Rotate your arms slowly, starting with small circles, building up to larger circles. Perform 20 circles in one direction and reverse for another 20.
Lunge with a twist
Lunge forward with your left leg, keeping your knee directly over your foot. Extend your arms outwards and rotate your torso to the left slowly and hold when at the furthest point. Bring your left leg back to return to an upright standing position. Lunge forward with your right leg and repeat 5-10 times each side.
Stand upright, holding onto a wall or chair for stability. Step your right leg forward and swing your leg across your body from side to side 10 times. Switch legs and repeat. Do 2-3 sets of each.
Walking knee to chest
This exercise simulates a running stride as you bring your knee up towards your chest and lower it to the ground. Walk forward right leg first and raise your left leg up to your chest and hold for 2 seconds. Drop your leg to the ground and repeat with the other leg. Do 5-10 on each leg.
Jogging quad stretch
Start by jogging forward for a few seconds, then reach behind and grab your trailing leg. Hold in for 3 seconds and release. Jog forward again and repeat with the other leg. Do 5-10 on each leg.
Stand straight with your arms extended out in front slightly bent at shoulder-height. Swing your arms from side to side in a direct motion with your hips and torso directing forward all the time. Repeat 5-10 times on each side.
Start in the pushup position, lowering yourself down toward the ground. As you push back up, extend your left arm toward the sky while keeping your right arm stable and your hips steady. Return your arm to the starting point and repeat on the other arm. Do 5-10 on each side.
Stand straight with your feet about shoulder width, with your arms out in front. Squat down until the hips are about parallel with the ground and stand back up straight. Pivot on one leg to face the opposite direction and repeat. Do 5-10 on each leg.
Ensure you are slightly warmed up before starting this. Start with your left leg, extend your right arm straight out, kicking your leg up and across your body while keeping your leg and hand straight. Repeat on each side 5-10 kicks, aiming to reach higher while remaining in control.