Dynamic stretching is the proven way to simultaneously improve exercise performance and prevent injuries. Exercise scientists recommend it like protein. And so do we.
Because it’s both effective and simple.
Dynamic stretches are held for 10-15 seconds max. These range of motion exercises are designed to prepare muscles and tendons for maximum output. We save the static, long-hold stretches for after the workouts.
This goal of warming up is to empower you with absolute body control.
Both cardio and resistance training hinge upon repetitive, fluid motions. So, we build strength into our active routines by doing a bit of prep beforehand. After all, prior planning prevents poor performance.
When blood is circulating freely and the tight areas are loosened up, you’re guaranteed two things. Yes, better results, for sure. However, expect to feel better in your body and to love the freedom of mobility.
The beauty of sustained fitness is how it improves the everyday experience of life. Soon, your body will come to crave the feel-good release of flexibility.
And you’ll love the new confidence. Imagine knowing you’re 100% ready to give 110% every time – without having to worry about injuries knocking you off your game.
Below, I’ve shared our 8 progressive, total-body dynamic stretches guaranteed to improve your range of motion and maximize performance.
Breathe deep and enjoy, friends.
1) ✅ Foam Roller
Find yourself an open space on the floor and grab a foam roller. You’re about to get a massage.
We use the foam roller to remove knots, dissolve scar tissue and soothe painful trigger points before a workout. This dynamic stretching is effective at restoring the muscle’s natural length while eliminating bothersome aches and pains. This will also release the tight fascia that surrounds muscles and promote maximum muscle growth.
The Basics ….
- Place the foam roller on the floor with sufficient space to slice up and back.
- Position the roller underneath you and prepare to do 8-10 rolls per body part.
- When you find a tender spot, stay with this area and let it dissipate.
Glutes: Sit with your butt on top of the foam roller. Bending your knees, cross one leg so the ankle is over the knee. Shift your weight to the side with the crossed leg, rolling over your glutes. Cross your other ankle over the opposite knee and repeat.
Calves: Seated, place the roller underneath your lower leg and use the other leg on the floor to support your weight. Hands at your side, press down while raising your hips from the floor and pushing weight against the calf muscle. Roll from above the ankle to below the knee. Do both sides.
Quads: Facedown on the floor, support your weight with your forearms. Place the roller underneath one quadricep, keeping that same foot off the ground. Shift as much weight as possible on the stretching leg, moving between the hip joint and the knee. Repeat on the other side.
IT Band: On your side, position yourself atop the foam roller between the hip and knee area. Keep the top leg crossed in front of you. Bear down on your lower leg with as much weight as tolerable. Roll the bottom leg overtop between the hip and knee areas. Flip over and repeat.
Hamstrings: Seated again, extend legs outward overtop the roller so that it sits under the upper legs. Place your hands at either side to support your weight. Lift your hips off the floor and shift weight onto one leg as you relax and roll the hamstring. Move from below the hip to the back of the knee. Repeat on other hamstring.
Low Back: Lying down, place the foam roller under your low back. Arms crossed, raise your hips off the floor and lean backward. Keep the weight in your low back and roll backward and forward, releasing tightness. Avoid putting weight directly on the spine.
2) ✅ Ankle Mobilizers
Body pain and injuries are most often a matter of alignment. Dynamic stretching which targets our ankles alleviates issues from the ground up.
- Start in a push-up position.
- Lift your hips into a downward dog position.
- Place the left shin overtop the right calf so the right leg is supporting your weight.
- Feel the stretch down your calf and into your low back.
- Pulse your hips back and forth, trying to get your heel touching the ground.
- Hold for 15 seconds and repeat twice for both ankles.
3) ✅ Super-Spine Bridge
Your glutes are huge stabilizer muscles responsible for balancing your back and your core. We prime these powerhouse muscles for peak performance. You don’t want other muscles compensating for weak glutes as this leads to injury and poor force production.
- Lie on your back.
- Bend your knees at 90-degrees in front of you.
- Squeeze the glutes and drive through your heels.
- Lift the hips upwards to a 45-degree angle (or as close as possible).
- Clench your glutes at the top and try not to use the hamstrings.
- Repeat 15 times.
4) ✅ Adductor Splits Stretch
Adductors are those muscles on the inside of your thighs. These and the hips get tight from all the sitting we do, causing pain and pulled groin muscles. The splits are key for waking up our rotational muscle groups.
- Get on all fours.
- Extend your right leg out at a 90-degree angle and place it on the ground.
- Keep the leg solid and straight as you dip your hips backward towards the floor.
- Maintain an arched lower back the whole time.
- Feel the intense stretch throughout the groin and inner thigh area.
- Repeat 10 times and then switch sides.
5) ✅ Quad-Rotating Sun Salutation
This is for creating mobility in the thoracic spine, also known as the upper and middle back. Weight training can create a rounded upper back and hunched shoulders that slump forward painfully and twist our ideal posture. This combination stretch move will both resolve shoulder and upper back tightness while loosening the hip flexors and low back.
- Start in a standing position with feet together.
- Lunge forward with your right foot while simultaneously raising both arms over your head with the forward motion of your step.
- Plant your right foot and bring your left knee to the ground, creating a box shape under your legs.
- Stretch and keep your arms straight overhead, creating length and release in the shoulder area.
- Push your hips forward and bend into your low back, feeling a deep stretch through the front of your hip flexors.
- Hold the stretch at your deepest point, inching forward to increase the stretch.
- Keep your chest straightforward and always lift through the sternum, keeping the torso above the hips.
- Hold and pulse for 15 seconds; you may tilt the head back to enjoy more of a stretch.
- Repeat on the other side.
6) ✅ High Knee Skips
“Movement preparation” is supercritical in dynamic stretching. It stimulates muscle for use while helping us practice good technique. It also starts to elevate our heart rate as we move closer towards the workout. High knees teach proper hip, knee and ankle extension with proper arm coordination for cardio and weight circuits.
- Find an open space.
- Start forward in a choppy, skipping motion.
- Pull the knees upward at each step while simultaneously raising the same-side arm.
- Keep 90-degree angles up and down as you hop forward.
- Perform 20 skips for each side.
7) ✅ Arm Swings and Shoulder Rolls
To ensure a full range of motion in the upper body, we loosen the chest and shoulders with these two movements. The arms see regular use through the day but they can get tight where they attach to the body.
- Place your left hand on your loose right shoulder.
- Rotate your right arm out and upward in the joint, accelerating it downward at the top.
- Complete a full rotation and bring it back to the starting position.
- Feel the release in the pecs, rear delts and shoulder joint.
- Repeat this circular motion 15 times on each side.
- Start with your arms outstretched at your sides.
- With energy, bring your loose arms straight across your chest using your pecs and shoulder muscles.
- Feel the shoulder girdle release and the triceps loosen.
- Repeat 15 times.
8) ✅ Final 5-Minute Jump Rope
This is the last dynamic stretch and it brings together all parts of the body to focalize total body coordination. Yes, jumping rope elevates the heart rate and increases blood flow, but it is still a warm up. Don’t make this a burner – unless you really want to.
- Hold the ends of the jump rope loosely at your sides.
- Jump on the balls of your feet and hold your body erect.
- Don’t let your heels touch the ground.
- Keep your elbows near your sides and let your wrists do the work.
- Start slow and go faster from there.
Now that you’ve completed this full-body range of motion warm up, you’re ready for anything! Remember to decompress after your workout with long-hold static stretches. For days after training, this helps to improve overall mobility and reduce soreness in muscles
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