When you use your full body to exercise vigorously, it’s important to warm up dynamically, or by moving your body actively through stretches instead of holding them for a set period of time. This encourages blood to start flowing through your body and your internal temperature to rise, which helps you avoid muscle injuries. Here are some dynamic stretches to try:
- Arm Swings
- Leg Swings
- Lunge Walk with Twist
- Upper Body Twist with Swing
In the rest of this article, we’ll walk you through each stretch so you can do them with confidence. This is a great stretch sequence to do before your next cardio session like swimming, running, or HIIT.
4 Dynamic Stretches To Try Before Your Next Cardio Session
Stand up straight with your feet hip width apart and arms by your sides, palms facing your body. Keeping your arms relaxed but straight, swing your right arm up and forward as your left arm swings back. Continue circling your arms like this for about 20 to 30 seconds, then switch directions.
Stand up straight with your feet hip width apart and hands either resting on your hips or holding onto a wall or other surface for support. Swing your right leg forward with a slightly bent knee, then swing it behind your body, brushing your foot against the ground as you pass through the center.
Continue swinging your leg, slowly increasing your range of motion, for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Lunge Walk with Twist
Start by standing up straight with your feet hip width apart and arms extended in a T position. Step forward onto your right foot, bending both knees to about 90 degrees. As you bend your knees, turn your upper body to the right, then bring your left foot next to your right foot and face forward. Repeat on the other side, stepping forward with your left foot.
Continue in this pattern for 30 to 45 seconds.
Upper Body Twist with Swing
Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and hands on your hips. Keep both hips facing forward and turn your upper body to the right, come back to the center, and then turn to the left. Continue for 20 to 30 seconds, slowly increasing the speed and range of motion.
As your back starts to feel looser and more warmed up, add some arm movement. Take your hands off your hips and let your arms swing as you turn from side to side. Repeat for 20 to 30 seconds.