Dynamic stretches are best incorporated into your warm up routine before training or a competition.
More recently, clinical studies have shown that traditional static stretching exercise may be detrimental to sports involving powerful movements. Dynamic stretches seem to be more effective at reducing muscle stiffness, which is thought to increase the likelihood of muscle tears. For this reason, many coaches now advocate static stretching away from competition to increase range of motion, and dynamic stretching prior to performing for injury prevention and preparation.
Some of the exercises below incorporate a stability ball. Stability balls are great for developing functional strength and core stability. They inexpensive and extremely versatile. You will find them at any store that sells exercise equipment.
- Stand tall and hold arms out to your side.
- Slowly swing your arms back and forth across the front of your body.
- Repeat this continuous motion for 30 seconds.
- Stand with a shoulder width stance. Place a toning bar on your shoulders (optional).
- Lean to one side keeping your torso straight. Do not bend forward or backwards.
- Hold for a count of 2 and then repeat to the other side.
- Complete 10 stretches each side.
- Stand with a shoulder width stance. Place hands on hips.
- With knees slightly bent, turn from side to side keeping feet firmly on the floor.
- Complete a total of 15-20 full swings.
Full Back Stretch
- Lie on your back and bring both your knees to your chest with hands clasped under back of knees.
- Roll forwards until your feet touch the floor and then immediately roll back until just before your head touches the floor.
- Continue until you complete 10-15 full rolls.
- Start by lying on your back on the stability ball holding a toning bar at your chest (the toning bar is optional).
- Push back with your feet and simultaneously push the bar over and behind your head.
- Your legs should be straight and your arms outstretched.
- Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-15 reps.
- Lie on your back and place a piece of exercise tubing (or rolled up towel) around the bottom of one of your feet.
- Pull the tubing and raise your leg at the same time until a comfortable stretch is felt. Return to the starting position and repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
- Repeat with other leg.
- Start by placing your right knee on top of a stability ball and maintain your balance.
- Slowly spread your leg out to the side until you feel a stretch on the inside of your thigh.
- Return to the start and repeat for 10-12 repetitions before changing to the other leg.
Alternate Toe Touches
- Start by standing with your feet spread as far apart as comfortably possible.
- Lean forward toward one leg and try to reach your foot or until a comfortable stretch is felt in your low back and hamstrings.
- Now try to touch the other foot with the opposite arm. This motion should be continuous alternately touching each foot (as close as possible) with the opposite hand.
Important: skip this stretch you are prone to low back pain or if it causes you any discomfort.
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Keeping your upper body perpendicular to the ground swing one leg forward and backward.
- Do not swing your leg so hard that you cannot keep your upper body from moving.
- Repeat for 10 full swings and repeat on other leg. 5. You can also swing your leg across your body stretching the abductors and adductors.
Use these dynamic stretches as part of your warm up. Start with 10-15 minutes of light aerobic exercise to make sure the body is thoroughly warm. While they are not as effective as static stretching for increasing flexibility they can help to prevent injury and do not negatively effect strength and power immediately afterwards. Static stretches can be performed after training or competition to increase flexibility.
Jacky has a degree in Sports Science and is a Certified Sports and Conditioning Coach. He has also worked with clients around the world as a personal trainer.
He has been fortunate enough to work with a wide range of people from very different ends of the fitness spectrum. Through promoting positive health changes with diet and exercise, he has helped patients recover from aging-related and other otherwise debilitating diseases.
He spends most of his time these days writing fitness-related content of some form or another. He still likes to work with people on a one-to-one basis – he just doesn’t get up at 5am to see clients anymore.