Dynamic Stretching 101

What’s Included?

  • What is dynamic stretching?
  • How & when to use dynamic stretches
  • Examples & types of dynamic stretching

How & When to Use Dynamic Stretches

Dynamic stretches should be done as a warm-up before any athletic activity. They can last anywhere from 5-15 minutes & should be done right before your run or race (or other sports activity).

To perform dynamic stretches, you can choose 3-10 stretches or movements and then complete one set of 10-15 repetitions for each one (NOTE: If it’s a single-side activity like leg swings you would do 10-15 reps on each side). The choice of WHICH dynamic stretches you do can depend upon the sport – typically, the dynamic stretches should “match” or mimic the sport you’re warming up for.

Dynamic stretching uses something called reciprocal inhibition – basically this is the process of one muscle group relaxing in order to allow another muscle group to contract (in running this can be seen when the hamstrings and quadriceps contract and relax with each step). Prior to doing your dynamic stretching, you can use static stretching or self-massage techniques (foam rolling, theragun, etc.) on overactive muscles or muscle groups to reduce their overactivity during movement (if you are quad-dominant then you would want to use active stretching or self-massage your quads prior to dynamic stretches and exercise).

Dynamic Stretch Examples:

Leg Swings (Front to Back) – Check Them Out

Leg Swings (Side to Side) – Check Them Out

Butt Kicks – Check Them Out

High Knees – Check Them Out

Power Skips – Check Them Out

Alternating High Kicks or Frankensteins – Check Them Out

Arm Circles – Check Them Out

Walking Squats with Band – Check Them Out

Amy Haas
Run with Aim, LLC
UESCA Certified Running Coach
NASM Certified Personal Trainer
NASM Certified Nutrition Coach