While static stretches are stationery and held, dynamic stretches involve fluid motions and movement. According to physical therapist Janice Eveleigh in an article for her website, a warm-up consisting of dynamic stretching can enhance performance in the areas of power, strength, muscular endurance and mental preparedness. Prior to dynamic stretching, do at least three to five minutes of aerobic activity, such as jogging or stationery biking, to increase blood flow to the muscles. Complete eight to 10 repetitions of each dynamic stretch, increasing the range of motion with each repetition.
Standing with the feet hip-width apart and the knees slightly bent, dangle the arms alongside the body. Nod the head up and down. Do not go so far back that the neck arches and face points to the ceiling. Stop the head at center and move on to side-to-side rotation. Look over the right shoulder and then the left shoulder in a fluid, continuing motion. End looking forward and then stretch the sides of the neck by lowering the ear to the left shoulder and then the right, keeping the face forward.
With the arms relaxed and fingers pointing to the ground, circle the shoulders up toward the ears and then back. Complete all repetitions prior to switching directions. Next raise the arms up to about chest level and swing the arms forward crossing in front of the body and then back. Be sure to alternate which arm crosses on top. Do not count one repetition until both the right arm and the left arm have crossed over on top. Bring arms back to sides and begin full arm circles to the back and then to the front.
Bend the arms and bring the fists under the chin. Squat down slightly and keeping everything from the waist down tight and facing forward, rotate the torso to the left and the right. Pull the belly button in to the spine to help isolate this stretching in the waist muscles. Drop the hands alongside the thighs, keeping the knees slightly bent, bend to the side sliding the hand down the thigh and reaching the fingertips to touch the side of the knee. Keep the upper body squarely pointing forward. Place the hands on the hips and circle the hips in one direction and then the other.
Transfer the weight onto one foot. Begin to swing the other leg forward and back, keep the foot relaxed, not pointed or flexed. Each swing should bring the leg a little higher. Do not allow the upper body to lean forward or back. Stop at center and begin a knee raise, keeping the torso tall. It is best if the foot does not touch the ground in between repetitions. From starting position, kick the heel to the buttocks, keeping the knee pointing to the ground. Remember to do both sides of each stretch prior to moving on to the next stretch. With both feet firmly planted on the ground, raise up on the balls of the feet and rock back onto the heels allowing the toes to come off the ground. You may want to use a chair or wall for balance during all of these leg stretches.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.