When it comes to warming up, there’s no question that a dynamic movement routine better prepares your body for exercise than static stretching. Besides bringing your actual body temperature up, a dynamic warm up will awaken your neuromuscular junctions, enhance active range of motion of all the joints and decrease risk of injury.
Our bodies move in 3 different planes of motion, and therefore, movement prep should include motion in all 3 planes. In order to awaken all joints that could possibly be involved during your workout.
Keeping that in mind, your Pulse Fitness trainers have designed an all-new dynamic movement prep to get you ready for anything your workout could have in store for you!
The Pulse Fitness Dynamic Movement Prep consists of 6 complex movements and exercises that have been carefully designed and selected to ensure that your body is ready to move in the most functional way possible.
1. Bent-over thoracic rotation and extension: This movement involves a hip-hinge forward (in the sagittal plane) as well as a trunk rotation (in the transverse plane) and thoracic extension (in the frontal plane). This will help warm up muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the hips, low back, and core.
Many individuals have a lack of mobility in their upper spines, due to a lifestyle in predominately seated postures. Additionally, the extension of the thoracic spine allows for scapular retraction, as well as a chest and shoulder dynamic stretch therefore increasing the mobility in the upper spine and back.
2. Lateral Lunge with shoulder abduction: This movement works predominately in the frontal plane, and involves a lateral hip movement, to increase neuromuscular function in the hips and glutes, as well as provide for an inner thigh stretch of the adductor muscles.
Bringing the shoulders up overhead increases mobility in the upper body, and provides a stretch of the latissimus dorsi and other prime movers of the shoulder complex.
3. Spiderman’s with overhead reach/T position: This exercise involves a forward lunge and a reach overhead in the sagittal plane. The lunge is a very commonly used knee-dominant exercise, and warming up in this manner can help ready the body to perform in this range of motion. Main muscles involved include quads, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors. When the lunge is taken to full depth and the hips pushed forward, a hip flexor stretch can be achieved.
Many clients have overactive or tight hip flexors due to constant flexion in a seated posture. Bringing the arms up overhead in the sagittal plane warms up the entire shoulder complex; bringing the arms wide in the frontal plane provides a functional chest stretch.
4. Quad-Pulls: This exercise involves a dynamic quadriceps stretch in the sagittal plane, and is important in preparing the body for any knee-dominant movements. Due to a single leg stance, stabilization in the frontal plane is required.
5. Knee-Hugs: This movement provides a dynamic stretch of the glute muscles, and if angled out to the side, will also include an internal hip stretch of the adductors. It can involve both sagittal plane mobility as well as frontal plane stability.
6. Frankenstein’s with rotation: Basically, this exercise is a dynamic hamstring stretch that also involves a lot of hip mobility and stability. Mostly the sagittal plane is utilized, but due to the single leg stance, core stability is required to stabilize the opposite hip in the frontal plane. By bringing the straight leg across the body to touch the opposite hand, motion in the transverse, or rotational, plane is also required.
By performing this dynamic movement prep before every workout, you are ensuring that you achieve the best active range of motion and neuromuscular readiness possible to complete your workout with a highly reduced risk of injury in every plane of motion and joint.
Jenna-Leigh Damron is currently a senior at Arizona State University working on her degrees in Psychology and Exercise & Wellness. She is also a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise. She says that her job as a personal training is the perfect combination of her love for the human body and her passion to help people better the quality of their lives. She also loves playing soccer and supporting her clients and watching them succeed.