Can we ask you a question? Would you rather spend five minutes running round in circles, or five minutes priming your body in a way that actually benefits you, both in your workout and in life?
If it’s the latter, welcome to the world of the dynamic warm-up. We think you’ll like it here.
A dynamic warm-up is a series of non-static movements performed in a sequence before any physical activity. It’s crucial to properly prepare your body for a workout, sport, or performance. It’s the athlete’s way of warming up! You use a specific series of functional movements to actively prime your muscles and smooth out any weakness in your body before you begin exercising. Typically, a dynamic warm-up will start slowly, focusing on motions, then activating different muscles, before building up to a high-impact finish.
A dynamic warm-up is completely different from static stretches. During static stretches, the body is held in position for a period of time and the ultimate goal is to aid flexibility. In contrast, a dynamic workout will vary depending on the exerciser and the sport/exercise they’re about to partake in.
Ask any of the world’s top coaches and they’ll gush about the benefits of dynamic warm-ups. Professionals at the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) discuss the importance of reviewing conventional beliefs held about pre-event static stretching and examining the benefits of a dynamic warm-up. These include:
A properly-designed dynamic warm-up sets the tone for workouts to come. Establishing this tempo and rhythm of movements and breathing can help you to get straight into the action when it comes. This can help regardless of the activity or sport – whether you’re about to jump into a dance class, practice martial arts, or partake in a competition.
Dynamic warm-ups enhance oxygen delivery and blood flow to active muscles. They raise your core body temperature and boost metabolism. They maximise strength and power by speeding up nerve-impulse transmissions. Again, these are specific to the sport or activity you’re about to partake in. For example, a dynamic warm-up before a tennis match should include movements that improve the motion in your joints and arms, preparing you for explosive reactions in the game.
Want to lessen muscle soreness after workouts? Dynamic warm-ups are your friend. By moving while you stretch (rather than staying stationary), your joints are put through their full range of motion, loosening them and lessening the chance of injury. Likewise, dynamic warm-ups help blood reach your muscles, lowering the chances of harmful rips and tears and preparing them for more intense exercise.
Learning the whats and whys of dynamic warm-ups is knowledge, but learning how to bring dynamic warm-ups into your routine is power.
That’s we prepared a routine for any workout: