• December 12, 2019
  • New York
stretching before workout

14 Best Stretching Exercises Before Workout

Stretching exercises are recommended as an essential component of any exercise training program due to the improvement in range of motion and physical functioning. Improving flexibility can be accomplished through various stretching techniques, for example static or dynamic methods. Stretching exercises can be incorporated into the warm-up to help prepare the body for more vigorous activity, or following the conditioning period of a workout to enhance flexibility. You may want to perform dynamic stretching before the workout, as these activities encourage large movements that raise the heart rate and increase blood flow to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Incorporating a dynamic warm-up has the potential to reduce injury as well as to prepare the body for the upcoming workout.

What is Dynamic Stretching?

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body through a full range of motion while gradually increasing the reach and speed of the movement in a controlled manner. An example of this is arm circles; you begin with small, slow circles and gradually progress to larger and faster circles until you reach the full range of motion of the shoulder joint. Many people think dynamic stretching involves bouncing or jerking motions—it does not! The goal is to move the joint in a controlled manner within a normal range of motion in order to minimize the risk of injury. Read More Here!

Stretching Before Workout

Stretching before workout is important as it prepares the body for upcoming intense activities. By performing various stretching exercises you can reduce the muscle fatigue and possible injuries. So it is important to include stretching in your daily workout routine. Dynamic stretching is the best before workout, so here are 14 best dynamic stretching exercises with proper names of stretches and illustration that you can perform before workouts.

14 Best Dynamic Stretching Before Workout

Remember to always warm up before any stretching activity.

Arms and Shoulders Stretches

Arm circle

Arm circle
Figure 1: Arm circle

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Raise both arms to the side at shoulder height with your palms out. Make small circles with your arms extended, gradually increasing the size of the circles.

Shoulder shrug

Shoulder shrug
Figure 2: Shoulder shrug

Lift both shoulders toward your ears (a) and then lower them away from your ears (b).

Hips and Buttocks

Pendulum leg swing (front to back)

Pendulum leg swing (fr0ont to back) stretching before workout
Figure 3: Pendulum leg swing (front to back)

Place your right hand on the back of a chair for balance. Lift your left leg and swing it forward (in front of your body) (a) and back (behind your body) (b). Begin with small swings and progress to larger swings. Switch to the opposite leg.

Pendulum leg swing (side to side)

Pendulum leg swing (side to side)
Figure 4: Pendulum leg swing (side to side)

Place both hands on the back of a chair for balance. Swing your left leg out to the left (a), and back across your body to the right (b). Begin with small swings and progress to larger swings. Switch to the opposite leg.

Internal hip rotation

Internal hip rotation stretching before workout
Figure 5: Internal hip rotation

Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your left foot toward the side of your body and tap the outside of your left heel with your left hand. Allow your knee to rotate inward. Switch and tap the outside of your right heel with your right hand. Alternate tapping each foot. Progress to walking forward while alternating feet.

External hip rotation

External hip rotation stretching before workout
Figure 6: External hip rotation

Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your left foot in front of your body and tap the inside of your left heel with your right hand. Allow your knee to point away from your body. Switch and tap the inside of your right heel with your left hand. Alternate tapping each foot. Progress to walking forward while alternating feet.

Hip circles

Hip circles stretching before workout
Figure 7: Hip circles

Place your hands on your hips and feet spread wider than your shoulders. Make circles with your hips in a clockwise direction for 6 to 10 repetitions. Then repeat in a counterclockwise direction.

Side shuffle

Side shuffle stretching before workout
Figure 8: Side shuffle

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your hands on your hips. Take one step to the left with your left foot (a); then bring your right foot in to meet your left foot (b). Begin with small steps, progress to larger steps, and then progress to a shuffle. Switch to the opposite direction.

Quadriceps

Butt kick

Butt kick stretching before workout
Figure 9: Butt kick

 

Begin marching in place. Pull your heel in closer toward your buttock with each step. Progress to moving forward (walking or jogging) while kicking your buttocks.

Hamstrings

High knees

High knees stretching before workout
Figure 10: High knees

Begin marching in place. Raise your knees higher and higher with each step. Progress to moving forward (walking or jogging) with high knees.

Ankles

Dynamic foot range of motion

Dynamic foot range of motion stretching before workout
Figure 11: Dynamic foot range of motion

Sit upright in a chair with both legs together and straightened in front of you. Point your toes away from your body and pull your toes toward your body (a). Rotate your feet clockwise and counterclockwise (b). Also Read: 27 Best Stretching Exercise for Better Flexibility

Combined Movements

Soldier walk

Soldier walk stretching before workout
Figure 12: Soldier walk

Simultaneously rotate your right arm forward and raise your left leg (straight). Reach your right hand toward your left lower leg and toes. Switch to the opposite side. Progress to alternating to the opposite side and then to walking while alternating sides.

Wood chop

Wood chop stretching before workout
Figure 13: Wood chop

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width. Reach both arms down toward the outside of your left foot while bending your knees slightly (a). Move your arms diagonally across your body and end by reaching above your right shoulder (b). Switch to the opposite side.

Power skip

Power skip stretching before workout
Figure 14: Power skip

Skip across the field using powerful explosive movements. Use big arm swings starting from the side of the body through the frontal plane and reaching for the sky. Use high knee lifts moving the opposite arm (i.e., as the left leg moves forward, the right arm reaches upward).

Conclusion

So these are some best stretching before workout that you can include in your routine. Perform these exercises and be safe from injuries or any mishaps. Stretching also helps to improve your performance without quick tiredness and muscle fatigue so, it must be included in your daily workout routine.

Flexibility Stretches That You Must Avoid While Workout

Many stretches that have been accepted in the past have been found to cause unnecessary strain on the joints and muscles. Although not everyone engaging in these activities will incur injury, it is sensible to avoid certain stretches. Figure below lists a few stretches to avoid and suggested alternatives. Also note that in some situations, stretching a muscle may not be appropriate. For example, if a muscle or joint has been injured, stretching exercises would typically be postponed unless prescribed as part of a treatment plan by a health care provider.

Stretches to Avoid and Suggested Alternatives
Figure 15: Stretches to Avoid and Suggested Alternatives

 

 

 

 

 

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