A dynamic warm-up refers to a series of exercises that prepare the body for more vigorous activity to come.
As opposed to static stretching exercises, dynamic exercises move the joints through their full range of motion without resistance.
A warm-up is just what it implies: It increases your body temperature to prepare the muscles for more intense activity and preps the nervous system, awakening coordination, and agility skills.
Walking on the treadmill only warms you up for walking on a treadmill.
The key is to include all the joints and muscles that will be active in your workout but too often people jump into a workout without any warm-up.
To warm up properly, you want to perform full range-of-motion movements that involve the muscles around the shoulders, elbows, wrists, spine, hips, knees, and ankles.
Perhaps most importantly, a dynamic warm-up prepares you mentally for the workout ahead. It helps you focus and eliminate distractions.
Having trouble getting motivated to work out?
Here’s a trick: Just perform a five to ten-minute dynamic warm-up, even if you’re still at home in your PJs!
Chances are, once you have warmed your body, loosened your joints, and elevated your heart rate, you will be motivated to throw on your sneakers and continue exercising.
Here are 5 dynamic exercises to incorporate into your warm-up routine.
1) Crawling Lunges: Lunge forward on your right foot, bending your right knee. Place your hands on the floor beside your front foot and walk your hands forward, dragging your left foot up to join your right foot. Slide the left foot forward into a lunge and repeat for 10 lunges. Bonus move: Each time you are in the lunge position, raise the same hand as the foot that is forward towards the sky and look up at it to get a nice side and neck stretch.
2) Half Jacks: Step to the side, keeping your foot pointed forward. Bend both knees into a half squat. At the same time, raise both arms to the side and overhead, in a jumping jack manner. Return to center, dropping your arms. Repeat to the other side, alternating for 16-20 repetitions.
3) Knee Lift with Twist: Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms out to your sides and elbows bent, goal post style. Lift your right knee, bringing your left elbow towards your right knee–they do not have to touch. Stay upright, being careful not to bend forwards. Alternate sides for 16-20 repetitions.
4) Arm and Leg Swings: Swing your arms up and down, in front of you and out to the side, 10 times each, then across your body, like you are hugging yourself, and back as if you are trying to touch your elbows together behind you another 10 reps. Then swing one leg forward and backward, 10 times with each leg, being careful not to arch your back when you swing backward. Then swing each leg 10 times out to the side and across the other leg. Hold onto the back of a chair or other apparatus for balance.
5) Giant Skip: Skip across the room or outside, swinging your arms high, and lifting your knees high with each skip. As you warm up, push off the ground higher and make longer strides.