In follow up to my post last week on the importance of stretching I wanted to give you few dynamic stretches to get you revved up for your workouts. Just as a recap dynamic stretching involves movements to begin the warming up (literally an increase in body temperature) of muscles and moving them through their full range of motion. Stretching dynamically will also more adequately prepare your body for exercise(s) by putting it through multiple movements that are similar to the lifts/action you are about to execute.
To execute this stretch you’ll start in a standing position and kick one leg straight forward (while keeping it straight) and reach out with the opposite side arm and touch (or attempt to) your toe. This warmup gets the hamstrings fired up and ready to go. You’ll be stretching one leg while using the other to balance and stabilize your body. You’ll also be hitting your hip flexors in a similar fashion. Your upper body will be used when reaching for your toe and the core will work to stabilize the body throughout the motion.
Star Touch/Windmill/Cross Over Toe Touches
I’m not sure this warmup has a specific name but what you’ll be doing is starting in standing position with your legs slightly wider than should width. Then reach down with one arm and touch the opposite side toe. Return to the erect position and switch arms and legs. This will get your upperbody, core, and hamstrings warming and the blood flowing.
This is movement as you can imagine is great to get your glutes (butt) loose and ready to handle some serious core strengthening exercises. You’ll start by lying on your back with your heels pulled towards your behind. Have your arms lying flat beside you (note the arms don’t do much here so don’t try and use them while performing this movement) and push up through your heels using your butt muscles to raise your waist upward. This move was previously featured on HuntingFit.com as a great core exercise. Once you’re warmed up you can just add some wait to your hips/waist area and crank up the intensity.
I stole this one from some of my yoga experiences. It’s arguable whether it’s considered dynamic or not but is still a great stretch to begin elevating your heart rate and get oxygen to those muscles. You’ll start by kneeling on all fours then sit back onto your heels. Keep your arms out in front you and reach as far as you can to really extend those core muscles. Don’t forget to breath while in this position and I like to relax it and then get back into it 3-5 times to really get loose. This is a great warmup for your torso, hips, quads, and even your ankles.
So here you have some really good dynamic movements/stretches to get your muscles and cardiovascular system ready to perform. Give them a try, you’ll be more flexible and less susceptible to injury which will put you in a much better position to bag your buck this fall.