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Blog Fitness Dynamic Warm Up Exercises To Do Before Your Workout

Dynamic Warm Up Exercises To Do Before Your Workout

Walking into the gym and heading straight for the weights is ancient history. A proper warm-up is now recognized as an important part of any workout routine. Before you start your workout, it’s important to get your body temperature up and get your blood flowing to your muscles. This will help reduce your risk of injury and make your workout more effective (1). Dynamic warm ups are especially beneficial because they prepare your body for the specific movements you’ll be doing during your workout. Let’s explore what there is to know about dynamic warm up exercises, including why they’re important and some examples you can try out.

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What Is A Dynamic Warm-Up?

A dynamic warm-up is a type of stretching that involves moving your body through a range of motion. The goal is to gradually increase your heart rate and blood flow to prepare your body for exercise.

Here’s how it prepares your muscles for your workout:

It Activates Your Nervous System

Your nervous system is responsible for sending signals to your muscles, telling them when to contract. When you perform a dynamic warm-up, you’re essentially telling your nervous system that it’s time to get moving (1).

It Increases Blood Flow

As your heart rate begins to rise, more blood will flow to your muscles. This increased blood flow helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which can help improve your performance (4).

It Increases Muscle Temperature

As your muscles warm up, they become more elastic and better able to generate force. This can help you lift heavier weights and improve your overall power (1).

It Improves Range Of Motion

Dynamic stretching helps increase the range of motion in your joints. This can not only help you perform better during your workout, but it can also help reduce your risk of injury (1).

Read More: Deadlift Program For Strength: A Total-Body Strength Move To Boost Up Your Pulling Power

dynamic warm up exercises

What’s The Difference Between Dynamic And Static Routines?

Dynamic and static stretching are both important for improving flexibility and range of motion, but they serve different purposes.

Dynamic stretching is designed to prepare your body for activity by gradually increasing your heart rate and blood flow. Static stretching, on the other hand, is best reserved for after your workout when your muscles are already warm (1).

Dynamic stretches involve motion and are often performed with no equipment. They can be done as part of a warm-up routine or as part of a cool-down after your workout.

Static stretches, on the other hand, are typically done while holding a stretched position for 10 to 30 seconds. These types of stretches are often done with the help of an object, such as a towel or strap.

While both types of stretching are beneficial, dynamic stretching is generally considered the best option for preparing your body for exercise.

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Why Is It Important To Warm Up?

Now that you know what a dynamic warm-up is, let’s take a look at why it’s so important.

It Reduces Your Risk Of Injury

One of the most important reasons to warm up is to reduce your risk of injury. When you warm up, you increase blood flow to your muscles and joints, which can help to prevent strains and sprains (2).

It Improves Your Performance

Another benefit of warming up is that it can actually improve your performance. A proper warm-up will help to increase your heart rate, oxygenate your muscles, and increase range of motion – all of which can lead to better performance (2).

It Helps You Mentally Prepare For Your Workout

Finally, warming up can also help you mentally prepare for your workout (2). By getting your body and mind ready for exercise, you help to ensure that you have a successful and enjoyable workout.

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List Of Dynamic Warm Up Exercises

There are dozens of different dynamic warm-up exercises that you can try. The best way to find which ones work best for you is to experiment and see what feels good.

To get you started, here are a few of our favorite dynamic warm-up exercises:

Heel Walks

Your ankles play an important role while you exercise. They help to stabilize your body and provide a base of support for your movements. As such, it’s important to make sure that they’re properly warmed up before you start your workout.

One great way to warm up your ankles is with a heel walk. This dynamic warm up exercise helps to loosen up the muscles and tendons around your ankles, which can improve range of motion and prevent injury. It also strengthens the muscles around the shin to prevent shin splints.

To do this exercise:

  1. Start by standing on your heels with your toes pointed up. Keep your chest up and shoulders back.
  2. Slowly walk forward, keeping your heels off the ground as much as possible.
  3. Walk for 10-20 steps before switching to walking on your toes.

dynamic warm up exercises

Toe Walks

Your calf muscles play an important role in many exercises, such as running, jumping, and squats. As such, it’s important to make sure that they’re properly warmed up before you start your workout.

One great way to warm up your calves is with a toe walk. This dynamic exercise helps to loosen up the muscles and tendons around your ankles and calves, which can improve range of motion and prevent injury.

To do this exercise:

  1. Start by standing on your toes with your heels off the ground. Keep your chest up and shoulders back.
  2. Slowly walk forward, keeping your toes off the ground as much as possible.
  3. Walk for 10-20 steps before switching to walking on your heels.

Knee Hugs

The hip flexor muscles are a group of muscles that attach the thigh to the pelvis. These muscles are used in many exercises, such as running, squats, and lunges. As such, it’s important to make sure that they’re properly warmed up before you start your workout.

One great way to warm up your hip flexors is with a knee hug. This dynamic warm up exercise helps to loosen up the muscles and tendons around your hips, which can improve range of motion and prevent injury.

To do this exercise:

  1. Start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your chest up and shoulders back.
  2. Bend one knee and bring it up towards your chest, hugging it with both hands.
  3. Hold for 30-60 seconds before switching to the other side.
  4. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.

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dynamic warm up exercises

Inverted Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings are a group of muscles that run down the back of the thigh. These muscles are used in many exercises, such as running, squats, and lunges. As such, it’s important to make sure that they’re properly warmed up before you start your workout.

One great way to warm up your hamstrings is with an inverted hamstring stretch. This dynamic exercise helps to loosen up the muscles and tendons around your hips and hamstrings, which can improve range of motion and prevent injury.

To do this exercise:

  1. Start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your chest up and shoulders back.
  2. Lift your right foot slightly off the floor. 
  3. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your back straight, and then lower your torso as far as you can
  4. Hold for 30-60 seconds before switching to the other side.
  5. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.

Lateral Lunges

The muscles around the hips and thighs are used in many exercises, such as running, squatting, and lunging. As such, it’s important to make sure that they’re properly warmed up before you start your workout.

One great way to warm up these muscles is with lateral lunges. This dynamic exercise helps to loosen up the muscles and tendons around your hips and thighs, which can improve range of motion and prevent injury.

To do this exercise:

  1. Start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart. Keep your chest up and shoulders back.
  2. Step out sideways with your right foot, landing in a lunge position with your right knee bent and your left leg straight with your feet pointing ahead.
  3. Push off your right foot and return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
  5. Repeat 10-20 times on each side.

dynamic warm up exercises

Hip Circles

Hip flexor muscles are often tight from sitting for long periods of time. This exercise helps to loosen them up.

To do it: 

  1. Start by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart. 
  2. Raise one leg, using a countertop for support, and gently swing the opposite leg in circles out to the side. 
  3. Circle your leg in both directions a few times, then switch sides.
  4. Progressively increase the size of the circles as you get warmed up.

Arm Circles

This exercise helps to loosen up your shoulders, which can get tight from sitting at a desk all day. It can also improve your range of motion for certain shoulder exercises.

To do it: 

  1. Start by standing tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms down at your sides. 
  2. Raise your arms out to the sides, face your palms down, and begin making small circles.  
  3. As you get warmed up, increase the size of the circles. 
  4. Reverse the direction of the circles and continue for several reps.
  5. Switch directions and repeat.

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dynamic warm up exercises

Pelvic Tilts

This exercise helps to loosen your lower back and prepare your core muscles for activity.

To do it: 

  1. Start by lying on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. 
  2. As you inhale, tilt your pelvis up so that your lower back presses into the floor. 
  3. As you exhale, return to the starting position. 
  4. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

High Knees

This exercise is great for getting your heart rate up and warming up your lower body. To do it:

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your hands by your sides.
  2. Raise your right knee up towards your chest and then quickly switch legs, bringing your left knee up.
  3. Continue alternating legs for 30-60 seconds.

dynamic warm up exercises

Safety Tips For Your Dynamic Warm Up

Injuries don’t only happen while you’re lifting weights, they can also happen when you’re doing dynamic warm up exercises. It’s important to take some safety precautions to avoid injury. Here are a few tips (3):

  • Don’t do any exercises that cause pain. If an exercise is causing you pain, stop doing it and try something else.
  • Listen to your body. If you’re feeling dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseous, stop exercising and rest.
  • Don’t overdo it. It’s important to push yourself during your workout, but you don’t want to go too hard too fast. Start slow and increase the intensity gradually.
  • Use proper form. Using proper form during your exercises will help you avoid injury and get the most out of your workout. If you’re not sure how to do an exercise, ask a certified personal trainer or your doctor.
  • Work with a  partner. If you’re doing exercises that require balance or coordination, it’s a good idea to have a partner nearby in case you need assistance.

Wrapping Up

Dynamic warm up exercises are a great way to prepare your body for a workout. They help to loosen up the muscles and tendons around your joints, which can improve range of motion and prevent injury. Remember to focus on quality over quantity when doing these exercises. It’s important to do each exercise with good form in order to get the most benefit from it. If you have any pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and consult a doctor or physical therapist.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Effects of Dynamic and Static Stretching Within General and Activity Specific Warm-Up Protocols (2012, nih.gov) 
  2. Effects of Warming-up on Physical Performance: a Systematic Review With Meta-analysis (2010, lww.com) 
  3. Guidelines for Implementing a Dynamic Warm-up for Physical Education (2007, eric.ed.gov) 
  4. Warm-up and cool-down (2020, nhsinform.scot)

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