Dynamic stretching or dynamic workouts are essential to any pre-workout routine. This is because it prepares the body for the stress and strain ahead.
It helps so many amazing benefits and also helps to massively reduce the likelihood of injury.
This, however, tends to be something that most individuals already know. What many don’t know, though, is exactly how it prepares the body for physical activity and why it’s so critical to do so.
In this article, we’re going to take a close look at dynamic stretching, what it is, what its benefits are, and how it helps you to prepare for the workout ahead. So, if you want to learn more…keep reading!
What Is Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretching is when you perform several different active movements that result in a stretch. Basically, what that means is that you’re stretching while you’re moving as opposed to stretching while standing still. Pretty simple, right?
The purpose of this type of stretching is to really prime your muscles and your tendons for the workout you’re about to do. It also helps to get the blood pumping around your body at an optimal level and improves your flexibility too.
All these things should then have a positive effect on your workout ensuring that it can be the best that it could possibly be.
What Are The Benefits Of Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretching has so many wonderful benefits and it’s really important to know them all. It’ll help give you the motivation to stick at it and ensure that you don’t skip your stretches.
Let’s take a look at these benefits now.
- Activates The Muscles – Starting out with a few dynamic stretches that target the areas you plan on working out is an absolute must. This activates the muscles and ensures that they are ready to go and less likely to spasm. You want to try and pick the right stretches for the workout you have planned though. So, for example, walking lunges are the perfect option for those wanting to do weighted lunges for their workout.
- Improves Body & Neuromuscular Awareness – Dynamic stretches that are related to your workout can help improve your coordination and balance. It will also elevate your nervous system which can help to improve your overall performance.
- Improves Range Of Motion – Dynamic stretching helps to combat that rigid stiffness you can often experience before a workout. As the muscles stretch, you extend your range of motion and this will result in significantly improved muscle engagement throughout your workout.
- Enhances Strength & Power In The Muscles – Because dynamic stretching improves your range of motion and also activates your muscles, you’ll often find that your underactive muscles seem to ‘wake up’ resulting in enhanced strength and power.
How Long Should You Be Dynamic Stretching For?
There’s no black-or-white answer to this question. Each person is different and so the time it takes for your body to warm up might differ massively from the next.
Typically though, you should never drop below 5 minutes. This should be set as your absolute minimum.
You can then keep going till around the 15-minute mark. By this point, most people should be nice and warmed up, and ready to go. However, this may not always be the case.
Be sure to always listen to your body. If it doesn’t feel quite ready for activity give it a few more minutes. If it does, well then, you’re ready to go.
How Does Dynamic Stretching Prepare You For An Activity?
So, exactly how does it all work? How does dynamic stretching prepare your body for the workout ahead? Let’s find out.
Dynamic stretches work to prepare your body for physical activity by allowing your muscles and joints to move through their full range of motion at a less vigorous and energetic pace.
So, let’s use your hip as an example. Your hip is a ball and socket joint containing synovial fluid.
This fluid is there to help keep the joint lubricated. But when you have been sitting down or haven’t been exercising throughout the day, the muscles and tendons surrounding your hip become pretty short and tight.
Not only this but the synovial fluid stays in the cartilage rather than lubricating the joint.
In this instance, dynamic stretching really helps to prepare for the workout because it loosens up and lengthens those muscles and tendons and helps to move the fluid out of the cartilage and into the joint for lubrication.
And all of these things are super necessary when it comes to exercise. You need the joint, muscles, and tendons to be functioning properly which is what dynamic stretching allows for.
Are There Any Risks To Dynamic Stretching?
Yes, there can be, but their likelihood is minimal providing that you take your time and start off slowly. The risk of injury really only ever comes into play when you rush your stretches.
This is the point where you are waking up those muscles and tendons and letting them get ready for the more intense stuff ahead.
So as long as you keep it slow and steady and don’t hold your stretches for too long you will likely never experience a dynamic-stretching-related injury.
Dynamic stretching, as you can see from this article, is so important before the start of any workout. It has so many benefits that will help you work out at your optimal level and help prepare you for the physical activity ahead.
As we’ve learned from this article, dynamic stretching prepares you by stretching out your muscles and tendons which are often tight and stiff from not being used.
Not only this but it also helps to encourage the flow of fluid to ensure that your joints are properly lubricated.
All these things mean that when it comes to starting your actual workout and trying to achieve your goals you can do so in a manner that is both safe and effective.