Warm Up With Dynamic Stretching

Lois Moncel, Director of Fitness and Wellness

What type of warm up do you do when preparing to work out, play pickleball, tennis, swim, or play golf? The more I talk to people the more I see that the “warm up” is not always as effective as it could be. Many people will do either static stretches thinking they have prepared their muscles for the work that is coming or they may jump on a treadmill for 10 minutes and feel that is sufficient for preparing the body to do the planned activity.

First, you might want to remind yourself of the purpose of warming up. An effective warm-up will wake up the muscles that are used in the workout. Studies show that moderately paced movements that resemble your workout or sport will provide functional benefits, improve your performance, and will limit the risks of injury.

Below are examples of dynamic movements that could be included in a warm up:

Hip Circles: Gently swinging each leg in small to larger circles.

Lunges with Overhead Reach: Lunge and reach overhead with opposite arm adding a slight bend. Try three to five reps on each side.

Arm Circles: With your arms out to side start circling your arms slowly with small circles, working up to larger circles. Circle 20 times in each direction.

Leg Pendulum Forward and Back: Swing one leg forward and back five to 10 times. If you feel unstable then hold the wall for support.

Spinal Rotations: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bring your arms out to the side at shoulder level. Rotate your body back and forth from right to left for about five to 10 times.

As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any type of exercise routine. Remember to avoid cheating yourself out of the proper warm up. Take the extra time to warm up properly. You can improve your performance level and you may save yourself some unwanted pain at the end of the day. For more information, contact Lois Moncel, Director of Fitness and Wellness at [email protected].