Science has proven warm-ups utilizing dynamic stretching are more efficient and safer than static stretching. So, why then, is it so common to still see people warming up with static stretching moves? And, how can I implement dynamic stretching into my warm up safely?
Science has proven warm-ups utilizing dynamic stretching (muscle and momentum move the joint through a full range of motion) are more efficient and safer than static stretching (taking a muscle to its point of tension and holding it for 30 seconds.) So, why then, is it so common to still see people warming up with static stretching moves?
“Too often, we just don’t know any different. Scientific data is improving and evolving; in previous decades, static stretching warm-ups were commonplace. But, today, with new data we know the importance of dynamic warm-ups.” personal trainer, Travis Grosjean, explains. “Static stretching is best used as a corrective flexibility exercise. It is a great cool down move to bring the muscles back to resting length. Dynamic stretching, a functional flexibility move, on the other hand prepares your body for activity. Neither is appropriate for all situations. That is why you should have a well rounded flexibility program integrated into your training routine, designed for your body’s needs.”
A flexibility program will improve muscle imbalances, increase range of motion, relieve tension improve neuromuscular response, decrease chance of injury and is beneficial to overall performance.
There are three types of flexibility training: corrective (designed to improve muscle imbalances and joint motion), active (designed to improve the extensibility of soft tissue and increase neuromuscular efficiency) and functional (integrated, multiplanar soft tissue extensibility, with optimum neuromuscular control, through full range of motion.)
To get started, replace static stretching with dynamic stretching in your warm-up. Travis takes us through the basics, “An average warm-up is 10 minutes at low to moderate intensity and should include one set of ten reps using three to ten dynamic stretching exercises. When starting any exercise routine, always check with your doctor. And, before beginning an aggressive dynamic flexibility program, you will want to have good core stability and balance.”
Here are a few simple dynamic exercises that Travis recommend: