You've probably heard that warming up and cooling down before and after you work out is crucial for preventing injury, improving performance and assisting recovery.
But did you know that the type of warm-up you do can differ pre and post-game?
Pre-Game Dynamic Stretching
Dynamic stretching is taking your body through a range of motion that will prepare your body for the workout or sporting activity to come. It is a safe way to loosen up the muscles, joints and increase the heart rate to supply those lovely muscles with the oxygen and nutrients they need to perform at their best.
It’s a great, effective and potentially fun way to warm up and prevent injury. Try the dynamic stretches below.
Roll down walk outs
Stand tall, roll down unstacking vertebrae and walk out into a plank, shoulders over wrists, walk hands back to feet and stand talk rolling through one vertebrae at a time.
Take a wide stance, shift from leg to leg, knee tracking over toes, keeping bottom back and down. Twist torso over the leg that is planted forward to really work the whole body.
Post-Game Static Stretching
Static stretching is a deep slow stretch held in one place for a minimum of 10 to 30 seconds. Great to do if you are cooling down after a workout, trying to progressively increase your range of motion and general and specific flexibility, or if you’re just starting out in your fitness journey and just want to take it easy.
Try These Static Stretches
Kneel down on a mat, knees apart and toes together, stretch arms out long in front of you and you take your hips to your toes.Push back through your hips and reach through finger tips. Great for releasing the hips, thighs, ankles and shoulders.
In a kneeling lunge position, with shoulders over hips, squeeze your back glute and push hips forward. For a more intense stretch lift your foot off the ground with your hand. This can also be done standing. Repeat on other side.
- Lying: Lying on your back, lift one leg towards the roof, interlock your fingers behind your quad, knee or calf and pull gently towards your body. Repeat on other side.
- Standing: Place one leg out in front, hinge at the hips and reach towards your toes.
Seated glute stretch
Seated upright on a bench, place opposite ankle on top of opposite knee, lift up and out of your pelvis and reach forward. Repeat on other side.
So, there you have it, static vs. dynamic stretches explained. Completing carefully planned and safely executed dynamic stretches prior to working out, and then static stretches after your workout is the most effective way to help you perform effectively, and prevent any unwanted injuries during your workout.
The Personal Trainers at Virgin Active have a multitude of stretching ideas to share, so talk to one today and get a coach in your corner.
Demi is a personal trainer at Virgin Active Northern Beaches with a strong passion for nutrition, dancing, health science, weight-loss, Muscle Endurance, HITT, and getting the body moving functionally.