How to Use Dynamic Stretching To Help You Get More Out of Your Excercise - Treadmill Planet

Stretching is the most overlooked part of your workout. In fact, researchers say if you don't stretch properly, you could lose 1-2% of your strength every year. It's no wonder why so many people end up injured because they didn't stretch enough.

Dynamic stretching is an excellent way to prepare your body before a workout. It can help prevent injury, improve performance and even reduce the risk of injury in your day-to-day activities. 

In this article, I’ll share what dynamic stretching is, and how to use it to get more out of your exercise routine.

What exactly is dynamic stretching?

Dynamic stretching is when you move a muscle through a full range of motion to improve flexibility. It also helps you become more flexible and limber, which makes you better prepared for movement. During dynamic stretching, you move through different ranges of motion until you reach your full range of motion, or full ROM. The goal of dynamic stretching is to increase the range of motion of your joints, which will help you perform better during athletic events or everyday activities. 

Dynamic Stretching Compared to Static Stretching

To understand how dynamic stretching is different from static stretching, let’s compare the two methods of stretching. When you stretch with a static method, you hold a stretch position for a certain amount of time. For example, if you want to stretch your hamstring, you would put your leg into the split stance position and hold it there for 20 seconds. While you may feel like you’ve stretched that muscle, you haven’t really improved your flexibility. By contrast, when you stretch with a dynamic stretching technique, you don’t hold any particular position. You simply move through a series of positions until you reach your full ROM.

Benefits of Dynamic Stretching

  • Increases Your Range of Motion
  • Boosts Joint Flexibility
  • Reduce injury risk
  • Increase your core strength
  • Decrease muscle soreness
  • Improves your performance during athletic activities or everyday activities
  • Help strengthen weak muscles
  • Improve overall flexibility

When to perform dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretches are best performed before physical activities that require more than a slight increase in range of motion, such as playing sports and cardio exercises such as running, cycling, etc. This is because, without dynamic stretching, your muscles may become stiff and inflexible.

Dynamic Stretches Examples

To help you visualize dynamic stretching, let’s look at different examples:

  • Walking Lunge: Take a step forward and down with one foot, while keeping your back straight. Bring your right knee up to your chest. Keep your hips back, hinge at the hip, and slowly lower your left knee towards the floor.
  • Walking Heel Slide: Begin in a lunge position, stepping forward and bringing your right foot up to your right knee. Keep your weight on the front of your foot, then slide your heel to your right, allowing your left knee to fall past your left ankle. Return to the starting position and repeat several times.
  • Heel Lift: Stand upright, and keep your head, neck, and torso in a straight line. Raise your left leg behind you, then lift it off the floor so your left foot is straight. Next, push the left heel towards the floor, then pull it back to the starting position. Repeat this movement, alternating between the left and right leg.
  • Squat Jump: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down and jump as high as possible. Land on both feet, and repeat several times.
  • Side Lunge: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, raise your right foot and step to the side. Continue to bring your foot toward your body, keeping your spine straight. Complete the movement, then switch legs and repeat.
  • Lateral Lunge: Step laterally to your right, lifting your left foot off the ground. Bring your left foot back to the starting position, and repeat with your left foot.
  • Lateral Drop: Get into a lunge position. Keeping your left leg straight, let it drop to the floor. Bring it back up and repeat on the opposite side.

Conclusion

If you’re interested in improving your body’s flexibility, you should try dynamic stretching. In dynamic stretching, you combine static stretches with resistance exercises and a partner, usually holding each other. The idea behind this approach is that it increases blood flow and joint flexibility. This leads to better muscle tone and improved performance. The key to dynamic stretching is that you do all of the movements slowly and deliberately and with as little force as possible. As a result, you’ll feel more comfortable and be more likely to stick with your routine.