Dynamic Warm Up Exercises
More and more people are spending time planning quality dynamic warm up exercises for their workouts. You probably think a lot about the movements included in your workouts, but how often do you think about your warm up?
This is often the most neglected and overlooked portion of a workout because so many people think that it doesn’t impact the results achieved by their workouts.
This is untrue because the quality of your warm up directly impacts your safety during the workout and your ability to give your all from start to finish. This is why a basic understanding of dynamic warm up exercises could dramatically improve your workout routine.
What Is a Dynamic Warm Up?
The word “dynamic” refers to a process or system that requires “constant change, activity or progress.” It rests on energy and action, so it’s the opposite of holding simple stretches that isolate individual muscle groups. A dynamic workout gets your blood pumping and warms your muscles up for the type of workout that you’re about to perform.
The great thing about a dynamic warm up is that it allows you to transition smoothly into your workout. You can start out with the first movement of your exercise performed slower or without weight. This allows you to gradually increase the speed, intensity, or weight as you transition into the workout. You get to start moving right away, and it doesn’t have to feel like a boring workout that you’ve done a million times.
Dynamic Warm Up Exercises
You can steal moves from your planned workout and perform them at a more leisurely pace to create a dynamic warm up, but it also helps to have some versatile exercises on hand. You can even do these exercises while watching television or when waking up in the morning to get your blood flowing for the day.
- Leg Swings – Stand with your arms at your side. While balancing on one leg, lift the other leg and start swinging it forward and then backward. Keep your swinging leg straight and feel the stretch through the back of your leg and in your buttocks as you swing. Swith to the other leg and repeat.
- Arm Circles – Holding your abdominals and legs straight and firm, rotate one arm in full circles beside your body. It should raise up and then fall back, going around and around in a complete circle while remaining straight. Repeat on the other side, and then try circling both arms simultaneously.
- Fire Hydrant Lifts – Start on your hands and knees. While supporting your body with strong arms, lift one bent leg up at the side. Think of this as a dog lifting their leg to urinate on a fire hydrant. From that raised position, move your leg to the backside and then round it back down with the knee pointing to the ground, performing a complete hip circle. Repeat on the other leg.
- Leg Circles – Lie flat on your back on the floor, arms and legs relaxing in a comfortable, straight position. Brace your body with your abdominals and keep your upper body and head on the floor while lifting one leg straight up into the air, rolling it in the shape of an arc to tap the floor on the other side of your opposite leg. Think of it as tracing a rainbow in the air and tapping the floor before pulling it back up and to the starting position. Perform 5-10 circles on one leg and then repeat, or rotate your legs.
Ready to Move?
Now that you understand the concept of dynamic warm ups and you know how to do a few dynamic exercises, try something new with your next workout. How can you get your blood pumping and jump start your next workout with some dynamic warm up exercises?
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