Are you looking for ways to improve your performance through increased your mobility? Dynamic flexibility training is the answer! This type of training helps you move better, with more ease, and enhances overall performance.
Whether you’re an athlete or a functional fitness enthusiast, dynamic flexibility can take your workouts to the next level, with the added advantage of sustaining dynamic range well beyond the workout to the other 23 hours a day.
But before we dive into how it works, let’s first understand what exactly dynamic flexibility is and why it matters.
Dynamic flexibility is a form of exercise that focuses on improving range of motion through stretching movements that are done dynamically (or actively), like leg or arm swings. Unlike static stretching, which involves holding a stretch in one position for an extended period of time, dynamic stretching involves movement while lengthening the muscles. These active stretches are designed to prepare your body for physical activity by activating key muscle groups, deconditioning the stretch reflex, and increasing circulation throughout the body.
Understand the importance of dynamic flexibility training
Once considered a luxury in physical preparation, dynamic flexibility training is now seen as an essential practice for any athlete. It helps the body achieve dynamic movements properly and protect the muscles, tendons, and ligaments from injury during dynamic activities such as running, jumping, dancing, and fighting.
Dynamic stretching focuses on specific actions that help to promote dynamic stability, and may include movements like lunges, squat jumps, and banded dynamic bridges. While these also fall into the domain of plyometrics, they're still examples of aggressively testing your dynamic range.
Increases in dynamic flexibility can lead to improved performance and decreased risk of injury during athletic performance, as well as bulletproof your body against unpredictable force vectors and external stressors in normal, day to day life.
If you're looking to gain a competitive advantage for your next race or sporting event, or simply feeling five to ten years younger in short order, dynamic flexibility training is certainly worth investing time into.
Learn how to warm up your body before a workout
Dynamic flexibility is an important element of a successful pre-workout warmup, assuming what follows can be considered dynamic or intense. Taking the time to loosen tight muscles through dynamic stretches can significantly reduce your risk of injury and dramatically enhance the effectiveness of your workout. Dynamic movements such as heel-knee lifts, arm circles, bodyweight deep squats, and leg swings can be incorporated into a 5 to 10 minute dynamic stretching routine before each workout. Doing so will help you start off feeling energized, agile and less likely to pull any muscles during your exercise sessions.
Discovering different stretching techniques and exercises that help increase mobility
Stretching is a highly beneficial practice that helps increase dynamic flexibility as well as overall mobility. The foundation of your range of motion will always be your static flexibility, and as such, it must be practiced on the regular. Your dynamic range CAN exceed your static range, but they are indeed closely coupled.
With dynamic stretching exercises, muscles and tendons are treated to dynamic, controlled stretches instead of static holds. This type of stretching increases dynamic flexibility by encouraging mobility in joints and muscles that wouldn’t normally receive it. As dynamic stretching can take various forms and shapes, it is important to research different types of exercises that best suit your individual needs and comfort levels - most easily assessed by examining the needs of your sport, craft, or exercise regimen.
Are you a martial artist with high kicking demands? Then leg swings, or rising kicks, are critical in preparing the legs to kick at full speed, and varying heights, without injury. Are you a dancer? Perhaps movements that dynamically explore back mobility. Are you a baseball player? Arms swings are a must!
Many exercises involve dynamic stretching in some way – from squats to calf raises to plyometrics, and can fairly be categorized as dynamic stretches. But they're not exclusive to the domain, and shouldn't replace movements that otherwise explore range ballistically, and with no (or very little) added weight.
Finding relevant exercises that best help increase dynamic flexibility in your chosen practice can lead to major improvements in overall functional strength, balanced movement patterns, and improved athleticism. Incorporating dynamic stretching into regular workouts and activities will help take comfort levels and performance capability to the next level.
Incorporate dynamic flexibility into your daily routine for better performance
Incorporating dynamic flexibility into your daily routine can have a positive impact on your overall performance, and general sense of well being and even youth. Whether it's dynamic stretching, dynamic postural control or dynamic warm-ups, dynamic flexibility exercises help to increase joint mobility and muscular strength, giving you the ability to move freely and safely throughout the day. This not only improves the confidence to perform, but you just plain feel younger.
Mobility is one of the first things we lose as we age, as the elastin composition of tendons begins to shift to collagen. But this shift can both be delayed, as well as reversed, in cases where trainees diligantly work the body through dormant potential.
Dynamic stretching for athletes also enhances strength and power, which can result in improved cognitive abilities, faster reaction times and better posture, as your whole system functions at higher efficiency.
Furthermore, dynamic flexibility is an effective way to reduce stress levels in both the body and mind while boosting sport-specific skills such as balance, coordination and agility.
Monitor progress and adjust accordingly for continued improvement
Attaining continued improvement is an ongoing process that benefits from dynamic flexibility. To maximize potential for such progress, it is key to monitor advancement, measure results, and make any necessary adjustments in order to keep moving forward. Some of the most obvious signs of 'too much too fast' are delayed soreness or a consequent tightening of the muscles being stretched. In such cases, do less per session, but add more sessions if possible. The body will gradually learn that these movements are a new norm, rather than a once off risk event.
Having systems and processes already in place to track progress allows for tweaking of strategies and objectives as needed. Keeping a dynamic approach with flexible methods will ensure continual positive growth - better range, more powerful stretching at speed, and flexibility that lasts beyond the session.
In sum, dynamic flexibility is a powerful tool for improving performance in any activity. It helps increase joint mobility and muscular strength, allowing us to move more freely while boosting our cognitive abilities, reaction times and posture. Incorporating dynamic stretching into regular workouts and activities can help take comfort levels and performance capability to the next level. But it’s important remember that continual improvement requires monitoring progress as well as adjusting strategies accordingly so we can keep moving forward. With these tips in mind, you should be able to incorporate dynamic flexibility successfully into your daily routine for maximum benefits!