Sometimes I hear from some of our members that they have pulled a muscle or that her or his knee, wrist or back hurts. I used to have the same issues and I was often thinking about what I could change to avoid injuries and restrictions like these mentioned above. I figured out that my problem might be my warm up that has not changed ever since I used to play hockey or go to a normal globo gym. Therefore, I decided to start warming up in a different way.
Instead of starting with static stretching that all of you probably know, I started doing dynamic exercises and stretches. I tried to move continually and therefore better warm up and mobilize different parts of my body. The pain I was often suffering from has significantly decreased or has disappeared completely. Our members might have noticed that we have been doing more dynamic warm ups lately in our group classes and it is for a reason.
So what is dynamic stretching?
Dynamic stretching is using movement to stretch and warm up certain muscles or muscle groups. Dynamic stretching uses movements like squats, lunges, different types of rotations,.. and transforms them into stretches.
Advantages of dynamic stretching
- One of the main advantages of dynamic stretching is warming up the muscles to their working temperature, stretching them and therefore improving their function. With static stretching you lengthen the muscle and you might be feeling that it is working better, but many times its performance is lowered by this.
- Dynamic stretching will prepare you better for high intensity exercises. Your body needs to be ready for what is coming and static stretching will not help it as it will only loosen your muscles.
- Another advantage is mental aspect of dynamic stretching. It will prepare you better for your training session than static stretching that has the potential to make you rather sleepy.
- Dynamic stretching will also improve your mobility both in short term (as a warm up for a workout) and long term while helping you reduce the probability of injury and it will likely positively affect your performance.
What are some simple examples of dynamic stretching?
Lunge with a Twist
Knee to Chest
Hip stretch with a twist
CrossOver Symmetry is a great tool that we have at our gym. It is great for warm up and mobilization of your shoulders that you should do before every training. If you do not have CrossOver Symmetry, consider getting it because it can really help your shoulders.
I hope that this article will help you and that you will try dynamic stretching to prevent injuries and pain of knees, shoulders or other parts of your body that are often used in CrossFit.