Having a dynamic warm up exercise is very important before getting into any serious activity. This can be done by athletes or even prior to bodyweight training.
I see this all the time. Many people will walk into my gym and begin their weight lifting or even power lifting routines without even warming up in any way. At least some guys or girls will get on the treadmill for a few minutes, work up a sweat, get their heart rate up and get some blood pumping.
Others walk right in and start heavy lifting. Usually the younger crowd will do this as their young supple bodies are much more forgiving. It must be that excess, magnesium, silica and hormones running through their veins.
Doing warm up exercises actually increases your flexibility. It allows your hips more flexibility so that your movements will become more fluid especially when it counts.
When squatting lots of weight for example, it’s important for your brain, neurons and synapses to be able to anticipate what range of motion the body should be expecting. It’s sort of muscle memory anticipation. Your body and skeletal structure has an ability to disperse the weight all over your body in order to avoid injury. Think of it as muscle memory.
If you don’t warm up properly your body doesn’t know what to expect and how to shift the weight around. It’s like injecting food through a syringe right into your stomach with a needle. All of a sudden your stomach has to deal with it. By chewing your food, the enzymatic reactions in your saliva actually communicate with your stomach signaling it what’s about to come down your esophagus.
The same goes for training. Get some light weight warm ups going first to avoid injury and get your blood circulating by increasing your heart rate. Trust me, I get emails all the time from guys who blew out their hamstring, quadriceps or achilles tendons simply because they were too cool to warm up.
Don’t be that dude!
In this video Craig Ballantyne shows us different movement drills to increase the mobility of your hips, increase the flexibility of your hamstrings, as well as everything else in your entire body. These drills are meant to prepare you for all types of movement.
Here’s the flow of how your dynamic warm up should be
Like any warm up you need start easy. Jog for about 20 meters and jog backwards (sometimes called backpedal) to your starting point. This will help to loosen up any stiff or sore muscles prior to putting lots of strain on them during your workout routine.
Sidestep for 20 meters and sidestep back at the opposite direction. Repeat using bigger steps. Perform this for 3 repetitions.
Raise your knees high as you jog. Our intention at this point is to prepare your muscle tissues and your nervous system to go a little bit faster. You can walk back to your starting point. Make this as invigorating as possible. You really want to get your blood moving at this point.
Similar to jogging but you kick your butt with your heels every step. Again this is designed to get your circulatory system and nervous system adequately stimulated.
High Knees on toes. Same as high knees but you do this on your toes. This will really help to loosen up your lower body to get warm. This is excellent for injury prevention in so many ways. Elite athletes use this all the time during their warm up training regimens.
Do Crossovers for 20 meters and do them on the balls of your feet. Do them again but make the pace faster. As your warm up progresses it should get not only more and more difficult but more and more intense.
You can do jumping jacks where your arms side upwards or from side to side. At this point you should start to break a sweat and your core body temperature should be rising. Your breathing should be very heavy and deep. Your lungs should be starting to grasp for air by now.
Next drills Are considered the range of motion circuit to increase your flexibility
Warm Up Your Hips
To get your hips warmed up, Hip twists in place. Hips while jumping in place. This is great for getting your gluteus maximus (buttock muscles and piriformis muscles nice and tender).
Do forward lunge squats for 10 steps and walk back to your starting position. Again watch your base and your balance here. Don’t let your knee go over your ankle otherwise you’ll set yourself up for knee injuries here. I’ve seen many people end up with torn ACL’s (Anterior cruciate ligament) or meniscus’ that get torn or partially torn.
Keep your knees strong.
Low Side Steps
Low side stepping. Side step 10 times while keeping your hips low and your chest up. This targets your groin tendon and ligament. Trust me, you don’t want to tear or even pull your groin. It’s very painful and debilitating.
Raise your arms in front of you. With every step, raise your legs to reach your hands while keeping your legs extended. This will target your hamstrings, this is the part that gets a lot of injuries because of lack of flexibility.
Do a simply hamstring stretch before this one to prevent further injury.
Dynamic leg swings
Support your body as you swing one leg back and forth keeping it straight.
You can go through these drills at first without making any explosive movements. However, as you repeat them, you should speed up your movements. This helps develop speed, timing and reaction time for your legs.
The purpose of the dynamic warm up is to make sure that your body is able to move as efficiently possible during your activity.