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Benefits of dynamic stretches or warm-ups before a run

November 08, 2021 3 min read

Benefits of dynamic stretches or warm-ups before a run-VPA Australia

We all remember the awkward circle at the beginning of every Phys ed. class where the teacher would stand in the middle, and we would all reluctantly copy them whilst they would bend into odd positions and count aloud for a period of time. Every now and then, someone would let out a "passing of wind" sound where the teacher would turn around sternly, and everyone would be holding in their laughter. Ahh, the good old days of static stretching.


You will be glad to know that those days are well and truly behind us (I'm not just talking about the last few years that have crept away on us, thanks Covid!) But welcome to the world of dynamic stretching. As research demonstrates, static stretching may not be as beneficial for us as we once thought and, in some instances, even detrimental to our health (Herman & Smith, 2008).

A dynamic stretch is characterised by vigorous motions that allow joints and muscles to move through their whole range of motion. You will then notice the benefits of dynamic stretching when you Replace static stretching with an active, dynamic stretch that is sport-specific.


This will enable your speed, strength, power, agility, and other essential fitness components to be enhanced. Increasing your core body temperature and blood flow is one of the crucial goals of doing pre-exercise warm-ups. Elevating your body temperature is critical since this causes your blood temperature to rise, allowing more oxygen to reach working muscles.


Additionally, raising your body temperature raises the temperature of your muscles, allowing heated muscles to contract more strongly and relax more rapidly. So how long should we be warming up for, you may ask? Arnheim and Prentice (2000) suggest that a warm-up should go no longer than fifteen minutes but at least ten minutes long to have the most effect.


It is most beneficial to have the main activity start no later than fifteen minutes after the end of the warm-up. The warm-up can be broken up into two different parts: the sweat part and the skill part. In the "sweat part", you want to use large muscle groups through activities like jogging or biking that will enable the individual to raise their core temperature and metabolic rate.

This will be evident when the participant sweats. The next stage of the warm-up is the "skill part", where individuals use stretching exercises specific to the upcoming sport or activity. For example, someone going to go for a run could use walking lunges, high knees and bum kick stretching exercises to increase the range of motion of their hamstrings and quadriceps. It does not only benefit your lower body but your upper body as well. With its countless advantages, it should be part of your warm-up routine.


This will be evident when the participant sweats. The next stage of the warm-up is the "skill part", where individuals use stretching exercises specific to the upcoming sport or activity.


For example, someone going to go for a run could use walking lunges, high knees and bum kick stretching exercises to increase the range of motion of their hamstrings and quadriceps. It does not only benefit your lower body but your upper body as well. With its countless advantages, it should be part of your warm-up routine.


With statistics showing that 50% of long-distance runners are likely to have an injury caused by running ( (YALE Medicine, 2021), you must do everything to minimise the risk. In order to reduce the likelihood of causing injury to yourself, it is vital that you conduct a proper, thorough warm-up prior to beginning your activity, especially running. After all, no one wants to spend their upcoming summer in a cast!

Bibliography

Herman & Smith, 2008:, (Herman & Smith, 2008),

Megan Jolly

Megan Jolly is a university qualified Nutritionist (MNutr) and secondary school teacher. She enjoys keeping fit whilst playing netball, F45 and yoga. Megan has a passion for travelling overseas and experiencing new cultures. She is also very passionate about her French Bulldog Chilli.

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