Do you do STATIC stretches before your workouts?
(static stretches are when you hold a stretch for an extended time)
If so, you might want to change over to DYNAMIC stretches instead.
You see, it's a common belief that static stretches can help prevent injury, reduce muscle soreness or improve performance… but this is actually NOT true!
Countless studies show that static stretches before exercises can actually weaken your performance.
Because holding your muscles in 1 position for an extended time tires out your muscle fibres! And this is the LAST thing you want before exercising.
So what should you do instead?
Doctors and physical therapists ALL agree - you should warm up with dynamic stretches.
These are low-intensity, active movements where your joints, muscles and body go through a FULL range of motion (rather than just holding it in one spot for 30 seconds).
This helps your body prepare for your upcoming workout and has been shown to actually improve performance when it comes to activities like weightlifting, cardio, and sports.
Here is a simple dynamic stretching routine to try before your next workout:
1) Arm Circles (30 seconds - 1 minute per direction)
Stand upright with your hands and arms extended to the side
Move your arms forwards in a circle starting with small circles while slowly making them bigger
Halfway through, continue the same motion, but instead, start moving your arms in a backwards direction
Continue for 1 minute
2) Hip Circles (30 seconds - 1 minute per leg)
Stand on one leg (you can use a wall to help balance)
Slowly move your other leg in a circular motion for 30 seconds then switch directions
Repeat the same for the other leg
3) Leg Swings (30 seconds - 1 minute per leg)
Place your centre of gravity on one foot (hold onto a wall for support, if needed)
Gentle start rocking your other leg backwards and forwards, like a pendulum, going as high as you can without discomfort
After about 30 seconds, switch to the other leg
4) Spinal Rotation (30 seconds - 1 minute)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
Bring your arms straight up at shoulder height at about a 60-degree angle
While keeping your core straight, slowly start twisting your body back and forth, from side to side
Continue for 30 seconds to a minute
5) Squats (10 - 15 reps)
Stand with your feet hip-width apart
While keeping your upper body straight and your core braced, lower into a squat stance
When your knees are at a 90-degree angle, push your knees out and use your glute muscles to return to a standing state
Repeat 10 - 15 times
Dynamic stretches are the quickest and most effective way to warm up your body and muscles.
By incorporating them into your daily exercise routine, you’ll likely notice a significant improvement in not just performance, but also flexibility and mobility.
Try them out and let us know what you think!