3 Dynamic Stretches to Improve Flexibility and Coordination

When most people think of stretching, static stretches are what come to mind. But while static stretches may have a place in some situations, the benefits of dynamic stretching can be even more advantageous, especially for athletes looking for a sport-specific warm-up routine.

Use these dynamic stretching tips that focus on functional movements to improve flexibility and prevent injury before you workout.

More: Combine Plyometrics With Dynamic Stretching

Rethink Your Routine

Dynamic stretching is a routine in which momentum and muscular effort are used to elongate muscles at the end of a range of motion. It can be used as a way to prepare the body for exercise by actively engaging your muscles in movements similar to those you'll perform during your activity.

A lot of athletes shy away from this type of stretching, choosing instead to perform static stretches because it's more familiar.

But if you have an open mind, including dynamic stretching into your routine will benefit your workout in ways that static stretches alone cannot. Because these stretches are based on functional movements, you will improve your range of motion and your coordination, which are both unique to dynamic stretching.

More: Before You Run: The Dynamic Warm-Up

Dynamic Stretches Done Right

Dynamic stretching shouldn't last more than 10 minutes. Keep in mind that just because the stretches involve movement doesn't mean it's supposed to fatigue your muscles. The goal of dynamic stretching is to gradually increase your heart rate and elevate your core temperature before you workout. You should break a sweat, but you shouldn't be breathing hard.

Begin with the following warm-up:

1. Start with jogging, running, or skipping rope. Jumping jacks, burpees, and mountain climbers are other alternatives to get your blood flowing.
2. Once your muscles are warm and you've achieved a light sweat, choose exercises that will warm-up all of your muscle groups. Trunk twists, arm circles, squats, pushups and lunges are a good place to start. Perform each exercise for 30 to 45 seconds.

More: A Stretching Routine to Prevent Injuries

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