At Personal Space we’ve been using dynamic stretching during warm up with clients for some years, (yes, yes, we’re very on-trend here) but some of you may be asking “why are you doing that instead of traditional static stretches?” The answer is because research shows it may be a more effective way of preparing the body for the more intense exercise to follow, and that force production is in theory potentially higher after exciting the muscles with dynamic stretches rather than relaxing them with static stretches. Some studies have shown performance deficits when static stretches are used in the warm up, with no benefit to injury risk.
Dynamic stretches are performed, preferably after a whole body aerobic style warm up, by moving your limbs through their full range of motion, in a controlled fashion, to prepare the joints for the full range of motion they may go through in the following weights / interval session. The movements help to keep heart rate raised and thereby the body warm, improve nerve brain-muscle connections, activate the core muscles and include multidirectional movements that will be used in the ensuing workout. Also balance challenges can be incorporated here.
Dynamic stretches are great used on their own for increasing general mobility.
For a brief video on how to perform a sample of dynamic stretches, click here.