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Stretches, or Dynamic Warm-Up Before Workout?

We asked our readers this question: “Do your clients perform stretches before a workout, or do they do a dynamic warm-up and then static stretching at the end?”

This is what a few of them had to say:

  • We do a dynamic warm-up to raise body temperature, which raises heart rate and increases circulation to muscles, tendons and ligaments. A dynamic warm-up also helps prepare the mind and body for the upcoming workout, enhances performance and reduces injuries.

    I even use dynamic warm-ups when I teach yoga. Most Baby Boomers (and I am one of them) need dynamic warm-ups.

    We do static stretching at the end or after a particular exercise (such as triceps or lower-back exercises), as needed. Stretching works better when muscles are warm, and it is a great way to bring body temperature down and to relax before going on with the day.

    Lynn Keneipp

    Keene Yoga Center

    Owner, Lean and Serene Personal Training

    Keene, New Hampshire

  • Some clients do a light warm-up on the bike or treadmill or on a machine of their preference, and others perform a dynamic warm-up. It depends on many variables.

    I feel it’s important for clients to warm up not just to prepare their bodies, but also to get into the right mindset. It’s like telling your body: “Here we are. Get ready. It’s my time now to just be me, myself.”

    I always have my clients cool down and/or I assist them with stretching during the last 5–7 minutes of the session. I also instruct them to stretch lightly between exercises.

    Anette Lynch

    Personal Fitness Training Ltd.

    Wilmette, Illinois

  • Dynamic movements that relate to the exercises in the session help recruit the right muscles for the task in the right way. A generic warm-up is no way to get the most out of an athlete or a client.

    Daniel Thomson

    Founder, Circuband Limited

    Canterbury and West Coast, New Zealand

  • I have clients do a general warm-up on their own on a piece of cardio equipment or outside before our workout. Then we start their session with workout-specific dynamic stretching. We do static stretching at the end of the session, depending on the client’s specific needs.

    Don Larkin

    Reach Multisport & Personal Training

    Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

To read the rest of the answers, please see Tricks of the Trade: “Do your clients perform stretches before a workout, or do they do a dynamic warm-up and then static stretching at the end?” in the online IDEA Library or in the October 2015 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.

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