Dynamic Stretching

One thing that frustrates me at the gym is when people do not take the time to properly stretch.  They do one warm up set then jump into the routine.  Proper stretching before strenuous activity can improve strength, power and most importantly, flexibility.  By prepping the body for this movement, you can also avoid a wide array of injuries.

The best type of stretching before workouts and riding is called dynamic stretching.  This is basically a rapid, exaggerated movement.  For example, doing arm circles and arm swings loosen up the glenohumeral joint (shoulder) and pectorals.  Walking lunges stretch out quads, hamstrings, and the hips.  Studies have shown that static stretching (holding a stretch for 20 – 30 seconds) can actually reduce your strength by 15%.  When the track gets rough, you want all the strength you can muster.

The best thing about this type of stretching is that it is more sport specific.  You are using more muscle groups in a movement similar to the activity ahead and in everyday life.  This is all functional based and should progress with your training as you become more flexible.  Do not always stretch to the same point; try to go a little bit further each workout.

Try this when you warm up for your next workout:

  • Sideways Leg Swing
  • Forward Leg Swing
  • Bent Over Torso Twist
  • Forward Lunge with Torso Twist
  • Arm Swing

Posted on Jul 22 2011, under Training | No Comments »

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