- Get more flexible
- Maintain your flexibility level
- Warm up and loosen up before intensive workouts
- Improve muscle recovery after resistance training
- Quicken muscle healing when it has been pulled/sprained or is chronically tight
Dynamic stretching – controlled motion in body parts (arms, legs swinging, torso twists etc.) to the limits of your range of motion (ROM). Dynamic stretching is great for warm ups. In dynamic stretches, there are no “jerky” movements or bouncing, unlike in relatively high injury risk ballistic stretching where the aim is to force a body part beyond its range of motion.
Dynamic stretches are normally performed in sets of 8-12 repetitions, gradually getting to the limits of a ROM. If you feel tired after having done few sets — stop. There is less elasticity in tired muscles, which results in decreased ROM. Perform only the number of repetitions that you can do with a full range of motion. When you reach a maximal ROM in a joint in any direction, you should stop the stretching after few more reps and move to another stretch. If you maintain the maximal ROM over many repetitions, memory of the range of the movement gets set up. Then you have to overcome that memory in order to make further progress.
Leg kicks – raise your straight hands and keep in front of you. Step forward with your right foot, then kick up with your straight left leg to reach your left hand. Alternate kicks walking forward. Leg kicks stretch hamstrings, lower back and calve muscles.
Side to side leg swings – bring one leg forward and swing it from one side to another. You can hold on to something in order to keep your balance. This movement stretches and warms up abductors and adductors.
Side to side torso twists – raise your straight arms sideways and rotate your torso from one side to another. This movement stretches and warms up upper back and oblique abdominal muscles.
Knee hugs – while stepping forward, hug your knee into your chest, then release the knee and repeat on the other leg, keep alternating. This stretch loosens up glutes and hips.
Glute-bridge – lay on your back and bend your legs, then move your hips up and down. This movement stretches anterior hip and warms up glutes and hamstrings.