Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching is an active form of warm up. It uses controlled movements to stretch the targeted muscle group in small increments while increasing the body’s blood flow and getting you mentally ready for the physical work ahead. The ideal dynamic stretching consists of leg, arm, and torso swings which gently take your body to the limits of its range of motion, but not past it.

Setting aside 5-10 minutes before your work out and performing a proper warm up will not only allow you to perform at your best but also decrease your chance of injury.  According to a poll conducted by Runner’s World Magazine and a recent study performed by the University of British Columbia the current runner injury rate lies at about 50%. This means that this year alone runners have a 50/50 chance of becoming injured and being sidelined. Performing dynamic stretching to warm up increases flexibility and thus reduces the risk of overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis and achilles tendonitis.

Dynamic Stretching Examples

We will focus on showing you some examples of dynamic stretching fit for running or walking. Be sure to remember to take your pre-run or pre-walk warm up slowly. Initially your body will be slightly rigid and cold. The goal of the stretching is to return flexibility to the body and increase your heart rate and blood flow.

1. Sqats

Simple squats are a great way to engage and strengthen muscles you will be using on your run. During this warm up exercise increase the depth of your drop with each repetition slowly increasing the range of motion. The glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings are primarily engaged while doing warm up squats and are all used while running.

2. Butt Kicks

Butt kicks are a great beginner warm up exercise. Start by standing tall, walking forward, and swing your leg back so that your heel is coming up to the glutes. With each repetition try and kick back your leg further out and increase the speed of  your kicks. This exercise is sure to get your heart rate up and ready for your workout ahead.

3. Front Kicks

Front kicks are sure to raise your heart rate and warm up your hamstrings. Begin by standing straight and tightening your core, make sure you are not bending forward. Raise your leg high enough to feel your hamstrings and glutes stretching. Increase your range of motion in small increments each repetition and remember to alternate between legs. This exercise will warm up not only your hamstrings and glutes but also your adductors and hip flexors which are essential to your running.