5 Effective Dynamic Warm up Techniques

A high leg kick
A high leg kick.

Dynamic warm up techniques should not be confused with either dynamic or static stretching. These warm up techniques are designed to not only increase blood flow to your muscles and raise your heart rate to a level which will allow you to begin working out efficiently, but they also prepare you mentally for the upcoming workout; giving you the eye of the tiger, so to speak.

That said, a good session of static stretching before beginning is always advised in order to minimize the chance of injury. Further, adding these techniques to your primary routine might just give you an athletic advantage.

There are a number of these warm up techniques that you can use to prepare for the type of workout that you are training for. Your personal trainer or coach will guide you in the right direction but here are some of the techniques that you might expect.

  1. Jogging. This one doesn’t need much explanation. Everyone knows what jogging is (slow running) and it’s a very efficient way to bring your heart rate up and loosen up your leg muscles. The trick is to do it slowly enough so you can carry on a conversation without wheezing. Running in place used to be highly recommended, but that’s a little boring, isn’t it? Just head outside to the parking lot for a few laps.
  2. Leg kicks. There are numerous variations of this technique but the basic idea is to raise your knee up to waist level and then kick your foot out. To warm up a variety of muscle groups, vary the direction of the kick; alternate between front, side, and back. This is a very ninja-like move that will psych you up for your workout. Take that, Bruce Lee!
  3. Stationary bike. The bike is a great way to elevate your heart rate and intensify your blood flow. This is not a spinning class though; be sure to start out taking it easy. Make sure the bike seat level is properly adjusted in order to avoid injury to your knees. At the bottom of your pedal stroke your knees should still be bent only slightly; your legs should not be fully extended.
  4. Bodyweight squats. With this technique you will start by placing your feet shoulder width apart. Your toes should be pointed straight ahead or only slightly outward. Holding your hands together in front of you, descend slowly maintaining an upright torso. Going back up, squeeze your quads and glutes for maximum effect.
  5. Lunge and twist. If your preferred sport requires balance and lower body strength, this technique is for you. Begin with your feet shoulder width apart and your arms pointed forward. You may use an item such as a medicine ball for added weight and resistance. Step forward with one foot and get your knee over that foot. Now twist your torso and arms in the direction of that knee and to the side. Now bring your arms back to center and repeat with the opposite leg.

Beginning your workout, whether cross training or your primary sport  with stretching and dynamic warm up techniques will not only help to prevent injuries but will also enhance your core strength which is important not only for general health, but also for excelling in your sport of choice. It’s a good idea to consult with your trainer to develop a routine that is geared toward your particular goals.

 


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