Stretching is one of the most underrated things you can do for your health. It’s kinda like the broccoli on your plate…everybody knows its good for them, but for some reason we all want to skip it. I can’t tell you how many times I see people hop on the treadmill without so much as a toe-touch. I cringe and wish them luck in my head. But seriously how friggin’ good does it feel to take a deep breath, stretch your arms above your head and just feel your body come alive?! Ahhhhh.
It’s time to embrace the stretch! Stretching is essential to get blood flowing to your muscles and help your body prep for movement (or just your day). Before a workout its important to practice dynamic stretching, which means your body is moving throughout the stretch as opposed to static stretching, where you hold a stretch without moving.
Dynamic stretching is key for anyone prepping to do any sort of sport that requires intense movement, ie. running, dancing, basketball, shopping (just kidding…but am I?). By making small movements in the stretch you can better prepare your muscles for what you’re about to do….whether it’s a burpee or a reach for a tank top on a high shelf. Dynamic stretching increases your core body temperature, increases range of motion around joints and decreases chance of injury. Basically it’s awesome and you should try it.
So today I’m sharing with you my favorite dynamic stretches! I incorporate these into my dance warm-ups and into my own pre-run routine (and hope the non-stretcher on the treadmill next to me notices).
4 Dynamic Stretches For An Effective Warmup
1. Toe-touch toe lift
Face right leg and bend to touch toes, placing hands on either side of foot. Lift right toe up and down 8x. Repeat left.
2. Flex heeled bend
Face right leg again and bend to touch toes, placing hands on either side of foot. Bend left leg and lengthen body over right leg. Repeat bend 8x. Move to left side a repeat.
3. Knee dip lunge
Move into lunge on right side and dip knee to floor 8x. Repeat on left side.
4. Toe touch heel lift
Bend over right leg and lift left leg, bending at knee. Lift right heel 8x. Repeat on left side.
These stretches are super simple, but can be modified for any flexibility level.
Having trouble touching your toes? Put a chair in front of you to hold onto.
Can’t go down all the way into the lunge? Put your hands on your knee or hold onto a wall.
Basically these stretches are built to help your muscles slowly work into your range of motion and gradually warm up so you’re ready for greater things. Like running a few miles or shopping till you drop 🙂