For years athletes have been stretching statically before a workout to enhance performance and prevent injuries.
Research however shows that static stretching reduces the athlete's strength and power output for up to an hour after the stretch. Research also challenges the premise that static stretching before sports performance decreases the risk of injury.
An active warm-up that consists of dynamic flexibility exercises prepares the athlete more effectively to compete or workout.
Dynamic flexibility exercises are performed with gradually augmenting reach and speed, to lengthen the muscles. The constant motion increases blood and oxygen flow to the muscles, activates the nervous system and maintains body temperature, effectively preparing the body to workout.
There are very few sports where achieving static flexibility is a key to success. Performing sport skills in their full range of motion requires dynamic flexibility.
The SAID principle (specific adaptations to imposed demands) states that to express fluidness of motion and sport-specific flexibility, dynamic stretches that resemble the activity of sports, need to form part of the warm-up.
The more challenging dynamic flexibility exercises also enhance coordination, balance and stability.
This group of exercises consists of dynamic stretches that open up the hips, stretch the inner thigh muscles and/or target the hip flexors. The difficulty level ranges from beginner to very challenging exercises that also enhance stability and strength.
Tight hamstrings affect posture and back health and can lead to muscular imbalances, making an athlete more prone to hamstring pulls and tears. Dynamic hamstring stretches warm up, lengthen, oxygenate and prepare the hamstrings for working out and prevent injuries.
Dynamic shoulder flexibility exercises mobilize the shoulder joints and prepare the upper body muscles and tendons for working out.
As a result of training habits and bad posture, the spine can lose mobility. Perform dynamic back exercises to enhance the range of motion of the spine that can actively be controlled by the muscles. Muscle control and stabilization of the spine in any position is important for your back's health.