What Is A Dynamic Warm-Up?

Dynamic stretches are a great way to warm up and help elevate your heart rate before a workout session, according to Insider. Unlike static stretches, dynamic stretches involve moving your body through controlled motions instead of holding a particular position. In other words, dynamic stretches allow your joints and muscles to move through their full range of motion. The overall goal of this movement is to increase blood flow and mobility to help prepare your muscles for physical activity.

Dynamic stretching may be particularly helpful for athletes who heavily rely on their legs and lower body for power and support. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, participants who engaged in dynamic stretching prior to exercise were able to jump higher than those who only performed static stretches. Another 2019 study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that dynamic stretching can also improve range of motion and increase flexibility, particularly in the hamstrings.

Fortunately, dynamic stretches can be easily integrated into your workout routine.

Examples of simple dynamic stretches

If you're looking for a couple of easy stretches to get you started, look no further. One simple and effective way to prepare your upper body for exercise is with arm circles (via Medical News Today). This stretch helps to warm up the muscles and joints in your shoulders. To perform arm circles, hold your arms straight out to your sides and rotate them clockwise in small, circular motions for 20 rotations. Then repeat the same motions counter-clockwise for another 20 rotations. This stretch can also be used as a cool down in addition to a warm up.

Squats are another helpful way to warm up the body, according to Medical News Today. Since squats are a full-body stretch, they're a great way to prepare your entire body before a workout. You can perform squats by standing with your feet hip-distance apart and lowering your body into a squatting position. Repeat this 10 times, making sure to squeeze your glutes as you return to a standing position.