Dynamic stretching is the use of movement to stretch muscles before a workout or athletic competition. It relies on momentum to engage the muscles, rather than holding a stretch at a standstill. Dynamic stretches are generally used to prevent muscle strain and to safely allow for swift, powerful movements by athletes.
Athletes who play sports that require sudden movements from a standstill, such as track runners or baseball players, tend to be the most benefited by dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching routines are usually customized for particular sports to mimic movements specific to each individual sport. Movements are designed to prepare the muscles for sudden movements by slightly raising the body temperature. The warmer body temperature usually makes the body better able to handle sudden movement than a cooler, unprepared body.
Dynamic stretching is most often used just before extensive sports-related workouts or competitions. The stretching routines are thought to have both short- and long-term effects. By stretching out muscles through movements similar to ones that occur during athletic competition, the body may become used to the movements and less likely to become injured. Some athletic trainers promote the use of dynamic stretches as a means to prepare the body for the optimal athletic performance over time by making the body become familiar with the movements. As an athlete’s body gets used to the movements, it may not take as much effort to perform the movements during competition and come more naturally.
There are several types of dynamic stretching routines and many are specialized for individual sports or athletes. A common example of a dynamic stretch for the lower body involves alternately raising the knees as high as possible while walking in place. This type of stretch can help prepare leg and back muscles for sprinting activities. A type of dynamic stretch for the upper body involves holding the arms out to the sides of the body and continuously swinging them in circles for approximately 30 seconds to stretch out arms, shoulder, and lower back muscles for upper body movement like throwing or swinging during competition.
Dynamic stretches are often confused with another type of stretching routines used by athletic trainers called static stretching. Static stretching, or holding a particular stretch for a short period, has also been commonly used for athletic warm-up routines. Common examples of static stretching including bending over and touching the toes, or alternately stretching each arm diagonally across the body. Static stretching is thought to not be as effective as dynamic stretching at loosening muscles for swift movements, so it is generally not recommended to athletes prior to competition. It is prescribed more often for after workouts to increase long-term flexibility.
#1 High Knees
How to perform this dynamic stretch: When moving forward raise your leg to just below waste height, repeat this with every forward step you take. For the best results, repeat the hurdlers knee raise 10 times each exercise session.
What it works: Groin Muscles.
#2 Inch Worm Walk
How to perform this dynamic stretch: Place both hands on a soft ground surface making sure that your legs are together (push up position). Move your hands forward as if you were walking (Keep Both Legs Straight). Now slightly move your feet towards your hands, repeat again.
What it works: Abdominal, shoulder and leg muscles.(This dynamic stretching exercise gives your upper and lower body a very effective dynamic warm up stretch, The great part about this dynamic stretch is your working all of your major muscles together for outstanding results.)
#3 Leg Swings
How to perform this dynamic stretch: Stretch one arm out while your other arm is against a wall. Start swinging your outside leg behind you then back in front of you and repeat.. Do so 10 times.
What it works: upper leg muscles.
#4 Butt Kicks
How to perform this dynamic stretch: While walking forward with each step quickly kick your heels towards your buttocks then repeat.
What it works: quadriceps.
(Our quadriceps also feel the strain of everyday life, so again it is important to keep them healthy and strong. Performing the heel up dynamic stretch you can be sure your keeping them strong. This is a very easy dynamic stretching exercise, but yet very effective).
#5 Tip Toes
How to perform this dynamic stretch: Walk on your toes, (tip toe) up and down a path way a few times, or for the advanced tip toe up a hill or slope.
What it works: foot and lower leg muscles.