Controlled increase of reach and/or speed of movement in body parts, in a nutshell!
Swinging your leg forwards and backwards gradually increasing the range of motion, the key here is that we are controlling the increase in a smooth and consistent way – no erratic/jerky movements.
It’s important to note that dynamic stretching is very much inside of our range of movement, in that we are not trying to force ourselves beyond our range of motion. Working or forcing ourselves past this would be ballistic stretching.
Dynamic stretching is a very useful warm up tool, it improves dynamic flexibility which is useful for activities such as aerobics, dance and martial arts.
Typically, dynamic movements are performed in the range of 8-12 repetitions, ideally working to our full range of movement, once achieved or as the muscles start feel tired move onto the next body part.
Dynamic stretching is an odd one out stretching mechanism, in that once we have reached our full range of movement, we don’t seek to repeat it continually in that set or workout as this can lead to solidifying the muscle memory through repetition.
Instead we want to achieve full range of movement, then move on, this allows us to work to full range again in our next warm up hopefully with a slightly increased range.
Examples of dynamic stretches are:
- Forward leg raises, allowing the leg to forward and backwards gradually working towards full range
- Side leg raises, again allowing the leg to move fully to both sides
- Arm swings in both the forward and side motions
If you have any questions about stretching be sure to ask a Member of Team SF – firstname.lastname@example.org