Ironically, this stock image is showing you how NOT to stretch before a workout
I like to do dynamic stretching before every workout. It warms up your muscles and improves range of motion the way normal stretching can’t. We used to do it every day before basketball practice back in high school.
What is dynamic stretching?
Dynamic stretching combines movement with stretching in order to decrease the risk of creating little tears in cold muscles that could lead to injury.
Many yoga poses — especially vinyasa flow poses — can be considered dynamic stretching, such as going from downward dog to crescent lunge to runner’s pose. (That’s a great combo of yoga moves I use for my pre-running stretch cycle.)
Just remember that the goal of dynamic stretching is to create heat in your muscles and stretch them simultaneously to improve range of motion while preparing your muscles for an intense workout.
Doing yoga regularly can also help reduce risk of injuries and improve your range of motion and your speed if you’re a runner.
What’s a good dynamic stretching routine?
As long as you get your blood pumping and do moves that stretch all your muscle groups in combination with movement, every dynamic stretching routine is a good one!
Here’s the one that I use. It’s served me well — I have never had any injuries while using this warmup, and it helped get me through all my training for my first half marathon! Some of these moves are taken from P90x, and some from my high school basketball days. [Read more…]