“Should I stretch before a workout?”. The answer is yes! Preparing your body for your workout has a variety of benefits, even if it is just a 5-10 minute warm-up!

What Stretching Techniques Should You Do Before a Workout? 

Dynamic stretching has gained popularity in the fitness community for its ability to prepare the body for physical activity effectively. Unlike static stretching, where you hold a position for an extended period of time, dynamic stretching involves continuous movement through a range of motion. This helps to warm up the muscles and prepare them for your gym workout, fitness class, or run. Dynamic stretching increases flexibility, improves muscle activation, blood flow, and overall athletic performance. 

How Does Dynamic Stretching Support Your Workout Routine?

Dynamic stretching serves as an excellent warm-up activity before engaging in more strenuous exercises. By incorporating movements that mimic those in your workout, dynamic stretching prepares your muscles, tendons, and joints for the upcoming activity. By gradually increasing your heart rate and body temperature, you are priming your body for optimal performance while reducing the risk of injury.

 

What are the Benefits of Dynamic Stretching?

  • Improve flexibility and range of motion: Unlike static stretching, which can sometimes lead to a decrease in muscle power, dynamic stretching maintains muscle elasticity while promoting greater joint mobility. This is key before a workout! Dynamic movements such as leg swings, arm circles, and lunges actively engage the muscles, encouraging them to lengthen and contract in a controlled manner. Over time, regular dynamic stretching can lead to increased flexibility, making movements in your workouts more fluid and efficient. 
  • Enhanced muscle activation and neuromuscular coordination: By moving through a variety of dynamic stretches, you stimulate the nervous system, encouraging better communication between your muscles and brain. This improved neuromuscular connection results in more coordinated movements and greater overall stability during your exercise. Additionally, dynamic stretching helps to activate the muscles you’ll be using in your workout.
  • Increased blood flow to the muscles: As you perform dynamic movements, your heart rate increases, pumping more blood to the working muscles. This enhanced blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, improving their function and reducing the likelihood of fatigue. Additionally, increased blood flow helps to flush out metabolic waste products, such as lactic acid, which can accumulate during exercise and contribute to muscle soreness.

 

Incorporating dynamic stretching into your workout routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Begin with a series of dynamic movements that target the major muscle groups you’ll be using during your workout. For example, include leg swings, arm circles, hip rotations, and lunges to prepare your lower body for activities such as running or squats. Perform each dynamic stretch for 10-12 repetitions, focusing on controlled movements and proper form. Your stretching routine should be customized to your workout. 

In conclusion, incorporating dynamic stretching into your pre-workout routine is a valuable tool for energizing your workout routine and enhancing your overall performance. By incorporating dynamic movements that mimic the activities in your workout, you can effectively prepare your body for physical activity while gaining the benefits of improved flexibility, muscle activation, and blood flow. Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a beginner just starting on your fitness journey, adding dynamic stretching to your warm-up routine can help you achieve your fitness goals safely and effectively.

Pro Tip: After your workout, don’t forget to spend some time stretching to aid in muscle recovery! Or visit us at Stretch 22. We have 3 locations in the Greater Seattle Area! Our stretchologists use hands on active stretching to open and expand your muscles and fascial tissue. Our series of assisted active stretching technique, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) and proprietary VibraStretch™ technique provide a superior foundation in the essentials for health and wellness.

Book a stretch with one of our expert Stretchologists. We have three locations in the Greater Seattle area– Madison Ridge, South Lake Union, and Bellevue.