Make it Dynamic!

A proper warm-up is essential for your performance & injury prevention

Whether you’re heading out for a long run or bike ride, a fitness boot camp or an obstacle course race, a dynamic warm-up is an essential component to your workout and shouldn’t be overlooked. While many people prefer to dive right into their main activity or exercise, it’s important to prepare your muscles and joints in their full range of motion to prevent injury and increase your overall performance.

Unlike a “stretch and hold” method, a dynamic warm-up involves movements that allow the body to gently prepare for more intense activity and provides increased mobility. These dynamic stretches and movements gradually help increase the range of motion at a joint, warm up the muscles and increase blood flow. It’s also a great time to mentally prepare for your workout.

A dynamic warm-up should never be overlooked, and it may be the missing link to your favorite activity or workout. If done correctly, a dynamic warm-up should gently move the body in various planes of motion, as well as prepare the body for all angles of movement. It is certainly more complex than jumping jacks and a jog!

You can spend as little as three to five minutes doing dynamic stretches or up to 10 minutes for a deeper practice. No matter your age or fitness level, a dynamic warm-up is essential.

Start with a light cardio activity like a brisk walk, marching or short jog for 60-90 seconds and then integrate large, full body movements. These dynamic movements should involve various combinations of joints, like those listed below.

Photography GORD WEBER

1 STANDING STAR REACH & TOUCH

Perform 10-20 reps or 10-30 seconds

Stand tall with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width and your arms by your side. Inhale deeply and reach for the sky. Arch your back slightly by lifting your chest (and opening your hip flexors) and exhale as you reach your right hand down, touching your left foot. Repeat on the other side.

Photography GORD WEBER

2 WALKING LUNGE & REACH DOWN

Perform 10-20 reps or 10-30 seconds

Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, step forward into a lunge as you reach down and touch your front shin or ankle. Round out through the spine. Repeat the other side.

Photography GORD WEBER

3 ALTERNATING SIDE LUNGE & SPINAL TWIST

Perform 10-20 reps or 10-30 seconds

Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, step to the right by placing all your weight into your right heel. Let your left leg collapse and twist your torso to the right. Step back to the centre and repeat on the other side.

4 HIGH LEG SWINGS + HIP ROTATION

Perform 10-20 reps or 10-30 seconds per leg

Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, step forward with your left leg and swing your right leg up high. Lower to the ground and follow with a big hip rotation by lifting your knee up and draw a large circle. Stay on the same side for 10-20 reps (or 10-30 seconds) and then switch legs.

Photography GORD WEBER

5 WALK LUNGE SIDE REACH & KICKBACK

Perform 10-20 reps or 10-30 seconds per leg

Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, step your left foot forward into a lunge as you extend both arms overhead and gently tilt your body to the left (side reach). Return the arms and torso to the centre as you step your right foot forward while kicking your heel to your glute. Walk forward by alternating each foot.

Photography by Gord Webber

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