and flexibility in the early morning? Then, nothing is better than a couple of stretches. Dynamic stretch exercises are powerful stretches requiring many movements as you perform the stretch to improve functional range of motion and mobility. Although dynamic stretching requires more thoughtful coordination than static stretching, it is gaining favor among athletes, coaches, trainers, and physical therapists.
Are you ready for a dynamic warm-up? Here are 5 fantastic moves that you cannot miss.
A great move to open up the hip through a range of motion. In addition, Hurdles also wake up your feet and lower legs because you have to balance on one foot.
START: Stand on your left foot with your right foot lightly touching the ground. Lift the foot up then back and over as if stepping over a fence.
FINISH: Touch your foot down then lift it back up and over to the front. Keep lifting the leg up and over until all reps are complete. Try to get the knee up as high as possible as you lift over. Also, make sure you step back and over. Don’t just lift straight up and down. Each movement should take two to three seconds on alternating legs over a 20-meter (60 ft.) distance at slow walking pace. Aim to do 3 sets.
LUNGING HIP FLEXOR STRETCH WITH ROTATION
Changing the angle on the lunging hip flexor stretch adds more of hip rotation and lets you tap into different parts of your hips. This lunge variation gives you a deeper hip extensor stretch.
START: Kneel on your left knee. Place your right foot flat on the floor in front of you, knee bent. Lean forward, stretching your left hip toward the floor. Squeeze your butt; this will allow you to stretch your hip flexor even more.
FINISH: Then, rotate your torso open to the left. If you can, reach your hands down to the ground, keeping your chest lifted, to deepen the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Switch sides and repeat.
DYNAMIC CALF STRETCH
When you think about stretching, you probably picture static stretching — holding a certain position for 20 to 30 seconds. However, dynamic stretching uses movement to improve flexibility in your muscles. Dynamic calf stretches are particularly beneficial before activities that rely heavily on these muscles, such as running or jumping.
START: Kneel down on all fours, raise the hips up in the air so the body forms an upside-down “V.” The knees and elbows should be straight.
FINISH: Lift one foot off the ground and rest it on the opposite ankle. Very gently, lower the heel of the planted foot down as close to the ground as possible. Lift the heel, rising back up onto the ball of the foot and repeat.
CHEST OPENER WITH FORWARD BEND
This Chest-Opening Forward Bend helps you open up all the muscles in your shoulders, as well as creating openness and space in your chest. It also works to open up the biceps and forearms—muscles we tend to forget about when we are stretching.
START: Stand with your feet hips-width distance apart. Interlace your hands behind your back and squeeze your shoulder blades together to stretch your chest. Keeping your legs straight, bend at the hips, tucking your chin and bringing your hands over your head.
FINISH: Relax the back of your neck, and if the stretch is too intense, release your hands, placing them on the backs of your thighs, and soften your knees. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and slowly roll up to standing.
ROLLING COBRA CONTRACTION
This dynamic move combines the cobra with an abdominal knee tuck to help strengthen and stretch your abs and back.
START: Lie face down with your shins resting on top of the roller, hip-width apart. Bend your arms and place your hands on the floor under your shoulders. Extend your spine and press down with your arms, lifting your hips off the floor as you extend back. Open your chest, press your shoulders down, and look up.
FINISH: Brace your abs in tight, lift your hips up in line with your shoulders, and bend your knees in under your hips. Allow your legs to slide along the roller from your shins to the tops of your feet. Hold for 1 count, and then slowly roll legs back out and return to extended position. Repeat 5 times.