Stretch Like the Pros: How to Do a Dynamic Warm-Up

Watch this video to learn how to warm up right

Warming up and stretching are key components to injury prevention, but they are often cut out of training due to time constraints. Active dynamic warm-up exercises consist of multiple joint stretching, which elevates your heart rate and gets the blood pumping. Instead of warming up for 5-10 minutes before training and then stretching for 5-10 minutes, this allows you to get both components in at one time!

Dynamic stretching also encourages you to contract muscle groups throughout their range while challenging your balance. It primes your muscles for performance by replicating the motions that will be used during your training. It is much more sport specific and more effective in comparison to the classic “hold and stretch.”

Sarah Walmsley is a physical therapist and works at Excel Physical Therapy and Fitness. She is also a running coach for Team Philly Race Training.

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  • A specific warm-up is related to the main activity itself, and allows you to rehearse the specific exercise movement patterns (neuromuscular response patterns) thus facilitating skilful and co-ordinated movement. For example, if you intended to do a weight training workout you might perform specific joint mobility exercises such as small squats, leg curls, shoulder presses, upright rows and bicep curls.