Warm up exercises Author: Tedd Falk

Did you know that the classic thinking of static stretching before your workout is actually making you weaker? We used to think that if we are warming up for a run on the treadmill we should hold a static hamstring stretch to “loosen up”. This idea is starting to lose traction as studies are showing that a dynamic warm up is the best way to prepare before any intense physical activity.

Dynamic movements work to put the muscle and joint through a series of challenging repetitive motions. The goal of these movements is to truly “warm up” the muscles and get them ready to fire for peak performance. Static stretching works the other way in that holding a specific stretch for 30-60 seconds will lengthen and relax the joint and muscle but will not prepare it for physical activity and this can lead to weakness or potential injury. While both are important, dynamic movements should be performed prior to a workout and static stretching should be performed post workout. So what kind of dynamic exercises should you do?

Walking Lunges w/ Twist: Take a deep step forward and turn away from the back leg to get a good stretch in the hip then repeat with the other leg.

Inchworm: Start in the pushup position and with straight legs slowly step your feet forward until you reach your hands. Then move back into the pushup position and repeat

Explosive Skipping: Skip with one leg exploding as high into the air as you can and repeat with the other leg

Explosive Push Up: With your hands on the floor or a bench push up as high as you can so that your hands come off the surface and repeat