Should You Dynamic Stretch? YES!
We have all heard of stretching before your workout. You might be able to recall your times in gym class where you started every class with jumping jacks and some different stretches to warm your muscles up before you exercised. Today, we still encourage stretching, but it might look a little bit different than what you remember. The core difference? Movement.
You never want to stretch a cold muscle. You can risk injury and it lacks effectiveness. A warmed-up muscle can stretch longer and endure more. To warm up your muscle effectively while still avoiding injury, we utilize a practice called dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching that mimics the types of movements that you employ during a workout, but with low impact. Much like foam rolling, dynamic stretching gets your blood pumping and circulating, which helps your body to exert more for longer periods of time.
When you dynamic stretch, you are able to start your workout more efficiently. This is because you aren’t wasting time trying to get your muscles to fully activate. This means that your workout can start at higher intensity because your muscles are ready to perform.
At RPF we always begin our workout with dynamic stretching. One thing that you can count on during our warm-up chat is that we will take a few jogging laps around the gym, practice jumping jacks, high kicks and shallow squats just to name a few of our secrets! Making sure that everyone who comes in for a class adequately prepares their body for our HIIT workouts is of the utmost importance.
The only time that we encourage static stretching is at the end of a workout. When you dynamically stretch you are activating the muscles you are about to use. At the end of a workout you no longer need for those muscles to be activated, so a static stretching routine is beneficial as a habitual stretching practice. We combine our static stretching with foam rolling to break up any lactic acid buildup from the workout, which avoids muscle soreness.
If you are interested in learning more about our suggested warm up and cool down techniques, we invite you to try one of our classes! Your first class is always free, so you’ve got nothing to lose but a little bit of sweat!