Whether you train at home, outside, or in the gym, it is always important to properly warm-up before you begin your workout. With warmer temperatures approaching, many of us will take our training outside. Since we are approaching running season, consider this a gentle reminder to warm-up before that run! Whether you are a casual runner or someone who competes in regular races, your warm-up is critical to your performance and recovery.
What is a dynamic warm-up?
A well-designed warm-up will have you mentally and physically prepared for the demands of your training session. It is not quickly doing a few toe touches or a quad stretch before training. Rather, a dynamic warm up consists of at least 8-10 minutes of movement and stretching to prime your body for the challenges it will face during your training. If you have ever trained with us at FSP, you know we begin every session with a dynamic warm up aimed to maximize your performance throughout the length of the session.
Why do a dynamic warm-up?
The dynamic warm-up, in contrast to static stretching, improves mobility and uses controlled movements to mimic the specific movements of the activity that lies ahead. Below are the reasons why a dynamic warm-up is key to your performance and training longevity:
- Increases core temperature
- Enhances blood flow to muscle tissues
- Stimulates our nervous system
- Increases mobility
- Decreases injury risk
How to do a dynamic warm-up?
An effective warm-up must include multiple dynamic exercises that gradually increase in intensity. A dynamic warm-up that is safe and effective, starts with more basic, less ballistic movements earlier in the series to allow the body to adjust to movement and will end with your heart rate elevated. You should feel motivated to take on the challenges of your training session after a dynamic warm-up!
Failure to adequately warm-up can result in injuries like muscle strains, excessive tendon and ligament stress, or improper movement techniques. These types of injuries may result in overuse or compensatory movement patterns, which can potentially put a pause on your training and may even interfere with your activities of daily living. We must never forget that the warm-up is essential to maximizing performance and keeping our bodies safe from injuries!
Taking the time to do a dynamic warm-up, such as the example below, will not only maximize your performance and prevent injury, but will also prepare you mentally for the demands and challenges of your training session. Overall, a dynamic warm-up is essential to a well designed training or running program, and will have holistic benefits before, during and beyond the workout.