Just because the weather cools down and delicious pumpkin-spiced everything comes back, doesn't mean that the grind ever stops. Working out and staying fit should be a part of our daily routines. This is especially true when soccer, football, and basketball come back in full effect. At HiDow, we understand that injuries happen, but we want to help you steer clear of injuries that result from exercising "cold." Before you take off at full speed though, it's important to remember to stretch. Try these dynamic warm-ups to avoid injuries during autumn.
While there has been a lot of debate surrounding stretching: which stretches are best, should you do static or dynamic stretches, or does it even matter? The short answer is yes; you should be stretching before you exercise, but which stretches you choose to do depend on when you are choosing to stretch.
Dynamic stretches are ideal before working out. Dynamic stretches take each part of your body through the repetitive motions that you use during your work out and stretch your muscles further each time. Static stretching, on the other hand, is excellent for your post-workout. Static stretching is about relaxing your muscles and body by holding a stretch for 30-60 seconds.
Dynamic stretches can help you feel more limber and ready to go for your workout, especially if you are running. Set cones or markers of any kind about ten or fifteen yards apart. You want to give yourself room to get a full range of motion for every stretch. Before you hit a full sprint, try these dynamic stretches:
Begin standing straight up with your feet hip-width apart. Bring your right leg up, parallel with your waist, and quickly switch legs. You should focus on your form as well as switching quickly. Make sure you land gently on your toes each time.
Begin standing straight up with your feet hip-width apart. Quickly bring your right heel back towards your butt and alternate feet. As with high knees, you should focus on your form as well as switching quickly. Make sure you land gently on your toes each time.
This stretch accounts for 3 directions: Left, Right, and Backwards. Begin standing straight up with your feet hip-width apart. Swing your right leg across your body towards your left hand. It helps to extend your opposite hand touch your toe. Alternate sides.
Go around your cones a third time. This time slowly kick your leg directly behind you. This should be controlled and will help stretch your glutes.
Begin standing straight up with your feet hip-width apart. Deep lunge forward with one leg, hold it and stand up. Deep lunge with the opposite leg this time.
Last but not least, do not forget to warm up your arms. Hold your arms out from your sides, parallel to the ground and rotate them forward, then backward. This will loosen up your arms and your upper back.