I prefer dynamic warm-ups to “static” warm-ups. It’s more time efficient to move gently and rhythmically through ranges of motion while bringing up the heart rate and core temperature.
As Martin mentioned, it ideally mimics or runs through the same ranges of motion and movements that will be done in the workout itself.
Static stretching isn’t shown to be effective as a warm-up technique.
A “dynamic” warm up simply means big movement for large muscle groups. Dynamic warm ups are performed in order to allow the oxygenated blood to flow to the working muscles, slowly raise heart rate, prepare the muscles for the work ahead, decrease the possibility of injuries & help us to mentally prepare for the workout to follow. I was always taught that dynamic warm ups are part of the “bell curve” which indicates that one should slowly prepare the body for the target training zone to follow. After the said amount of time in this target training zone, one begins to perform the cool down which allows the body to return to the pre-exercise state.
These warm ups can be choreographed moves to include movements that will be performed in the workout itself or simply sport/activity as Martin stated above.
Continuing from Christine’s point, stretching while moving helps the body warm up too. While it’s one of those topics people debate, I strongly believe in stretching while warm vs. stretching and then going.
An easy movement such as walking a lap or two or some distance then stretch. Of course, start easy, and as Martin stated, gradually.
Dynamic stretching activates the specific muscles that will be used during the workout. Stretching while moving the body (as opposed to static stretching where there is no movement in the joint) also increases range of motion. This helps you reduce your risk of injury, and it also helps you become more aware and mindful of the muscles you are using.
Hope this helps.
The name “dynamic” warm up is a bit dramatic in my opinion. I prefer sport/activity specific warm up. And to that end, it is performing movements similar to the activity to be engaged in at a gradually increasing effort level and ROM. I teach the clients and athletes that I work with that this type of warm up has two main purposes. One, to have the body as best prepared to perform the activity at the desired intensity. And two, to uncover potential musculotendonus/musculoskeletal issues that may hinder performance or even lead to injury in order to address the issues prior to engaging in the activity.