The Importance of a Dynamic Warm-Up

While I feel like just about everyone has heard of a dynamic warm-up, I definitely don’t see them being performed that often and it’s a shame.  They are easy to implement, can improve performance, and potentially prevent injury.  I’ll briefly discuss the benefits of a dynamic warm-up and then provide a video of one at the end.

Dynamic warm-ups have grown in popularity over the past 10-15 years – gone are the days of only static stretching for a “warm-up” before playing a sport.  Multiple studies (too many to even list) have shown how dynamic warm-ups are superior to static stretching in preparing an athlete for performance.

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If you are one of those athletes who needs a few minutes of game to go by before really feeling ready to play, you probably aren't warming up properly.  You should take your warm-up as seriously as your workout/training/sport.

Some of the benefits of a dynamic warm-up are:

  • Increases heart rate and blood flow (in muscles and in brain)
    • which significantly increases the amount of nutrients and oxygen brought to muscles
  • Increases body temperature
  • Improve range of motion
    • tendons and muscles become more elastic
  • Helps activate the central nervous system (brain and nerves)
    • essentially primes your muscles and neural pathways - improves your coordination/movement patterns

I think it's fairly obvious to see how all of these effects will help improve your performance and decrease your risk of injury.

A dynamic warm-up should be approximately 10-15 mins long and should make you feel a little out of breath afterwards (you should not be gasping for air - if you are, then you should probably put some emphasis on conditioning).

Below is an example of a dynamic warm-up - there are endless possibilities when it comes to what to put into your warm-up, so feel free to play around with what it is in the video or incorporate some things you already do.  The warm-up in the video is intended for activities/sports where you are required to run/sprint.

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