Don’t Skip the Warmup! Why Dynamic Mobility is a Key to Healthy Exercise

The warmup should be an essential part of any healthy exercise routine. The main role of a warmup is to prepare for exercise and help transition the body from a state of stagnation to an active state. This transition phase of an exercise routine is essential in preventing injuries while exercising. It also allows the more rigorous portion of the exercise to yield better results.

Choose a Dynamic Warmup

At the beginning of a workout, a dynamic warmup should be the mode of mobility selected. Dynamic warmups are mobility-type exercises that incorporate movement as you increase mobility. An example of an exercise you might find in a dynamic warmup is a walking lunge or standing knee hug. This modality of warming up should be chosen over static stretching. Static stretching is mobility that does not include movement. Stretching in this manner can sometimes increase the risk of injury. It increases mobility in joints and does not allow your body to process that increase prior to beginning an exercise. This can have a negative effect on important aspects of exercise such as form, and endurance.

So, What’s Actually Happening to Your Body When You Warm Up?

There are a couple of major physiological changes that occur to your body as you warm up that are essential to a safe and effective workout.

  1. Elevated Heart Rate/Circulation – By raising your heart rate, which basically means the frequency at which your heart is beating, you are increasing blood flow. This blood flow brings a healthy supply of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles that allow them to function at an optimal level.

  2. Increased Joint Mobility – Dynamic warmups allow your body to effectively add a degree of joint mobility and muscle elasticity. Unlike static stretching, dynamic movements increase mobility as you move. This helps to reinforce proper exercise forms. If the dynamic portion of the warmup is skipped, the body is often not prepared rigorous physical activity. This can lead to sudden injuries such as strained muscles and herniated disks in the back.

  3. Stimulate Connection Between Muscle and Nervous System – The efficiency of your nervous system effectively relaying information to your muscles is an important aspect of physical activity. Your nervous system is responsible for relaying information to the muscle such as when to contract, how many muscle fibers to recruit, and the frequency at which to recruit them. A high-functioning nervous system also allows you to have more controlled body movements. This can lead to an increase in balance and a decrease in potential injury. Everyone’s nervous system warms up at a different rate but, allowing your nervous system to effectively make that transition is a major key to an effective and healthy workout.

It is important to note, the more intense the physical activity, the longer the dynamic warmup should be. This is due to the fact that there is a higher degree of variability between the state of your body before exercise and during exercise. SimpleTherapy can be utilized as a dynamic warmup! If you are struggling to find exercises that are appropriate for you prior to exercising, SimpleTherapy can be a great resource that allows to you build a repertoire of great dynamic stretches!

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