I used to roll my eyes at any pre-workout stretch. Little did I know, skipping those moves was holding me back. Dynamic stretching before a sweat sesh is key for optimizing performance, reducing the risk of injury, and preparing muscles for maximum efficiency.
“Dynamic stretching is an active form of stretching where your muscles and joints move through your full range of motion,” says Jessica Chellsen, DPT, CSCS, physical therapist and founder of Vibrant Coast Physical Therapy & Wellness. “It incorporates whole body movements rather than just one muscle group and uses similar movement patterns as the sport or workout you are going to perform,” she explains.
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Basically, performing dynamic stretches before a workout sets you up for success. They elevate your heart rate and warm your muscles in preparation for the activity, which is crucial for injury prevention, Chellsen adds.
Another bonus? Dynamic stretching is an excellent way to break up the workday. “If we spend many hours in a fixed position, like when sitting at a computer or driving to work, we may become prone to staying in that fixed position and lose the ability to move through the entire range of motion,” says Kendall Green, DPT, CSCS, a physical therapist at Myodetox. “Taking micro breaks and performing dynamic movements every 12 hours