The Best Way To Warm Up Before Working Out

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Which Is Better To Warm Up: Dynamic vs Static Stretching

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, we compare dynamic vs static stretching and share the best way to warm up before working out.

This was a question from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 011.

1 Rep Max, Cheat Meal Recovery, Fav Books | #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 011 | LiveLeanTV

Here’s today’s viewer question:

@CiscoBalls on Twitter says: I saw your snap and totally agree about dynamic vs static stretching before working out. However, is there any importance to static stretching?

He’s referring to my video on snapchat where I talked about the importance of dynamic stretching vs static stretching, before your workout.

Yes, there are definitely benefits to static stretching, but the majority of it should be completed post workout.

Dynamic stretching is the best way to warm up before working out.

What Is Dynamic Stretching?

Dynamic stretching simply means moving your body through a full range of motion.

Static stretching is when you hold a stretched position for a longer period of time.

An example of a static stretch is the “classic old guy move” that many beginners do when they get to the gym.

Before the workout, they’ll do the quad stretch by grabbing their ankle and and pulling it up to their butt.

Dynamic Stretches Include:

Here’s an example of one of my favorite dynamic stretch warm up flows from our 31 Day Workout Challenge.

Dynamic Warm Up Flow: The Microwave

I’m sure this dynamic warm up flow has a bunch of different names.

However, I like to call it The Microwave, because it basically warms up your entire body, with one flow of movements.

This dynamic warm up flow can be broken down into a few simple steps.

To get started:

  1. While standing, raise your knee up high and hold it with both hands for 1-2 seconds.
  2. Release your hands and lunge forward and out to approximately 11 o’clock.
  3. To make it more challenging, you can keep your back knee hovering just above the floor, or if you want to simplify it, you can put your back knee down on the floor.
  4. Bend forward and place both hands on the floor inside your knee and foot.
  5. Raise the hand closest to your foot up towards the ceiling, as you rotate your torso towards your knee, and look up at your top hand. At this point your arms should be in a straight line. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
  6. Next, bring your raised hand back down to the floor, extend your legs, and raise your butt to feel a good stretch in your hamstrings.
  7. Bring your forward leg back to stand up.
  8. Repeat with the opposite leg and continue alternating for 6 reps per side.

Other examples of dynamic warm up exercises include:

High Knee Taps

High Knee Taps are a great high intensity cardio exercise to really get the heart rate pumping and burn some calories.

To get started:

  1. With a hip width stance, bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle in front of your body with your palms facing down.
  2. Drive one knee up so your knee taps your hands.
  3. Softly land the foot on the ground while immediately driving the opposite knee up to tap your other hand.
  4. Repeat as fast as you can for reps.

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks are a great total body cardio exercise to quickly elevate your heart rate and burn fat.

To get started:

  1. Stand with your feet together and arms down by your sides.
  2. In one motion, jump up and out landing your feet just outside hip width, while simultaneously raising your arms out to the side and over your head.
  3. Try to touch your hands above your head.
  4. Then immediately return back to the starting position and continue for reps.

Standing Side To Side Leg Swings

The Standing Side To Side Leg Swing is an excellent dynamic warm up that helps loosen the hips and improve hip mobility.

To get started:

  1. While standing, place your hands at chest level and hold onto a sturdy object for balance.
  2. With your chest up and looking straight ahead, swing one leg out to the side away from the body as high as you can, then reverse the swing back down and across of your stationary leg.
  3. Complete all the reps with one leg, then switch legs and repeat.

Ultimately, the difference between dynamic vs static stretching comes down to moving your body through longer dynamic movements vs simply holding a stationary stretch.

The Elastic Rubber Band Analogy

While studying for my certifications, I was taught the elastic band analogy.

Before your workout, think of your body as a cold elastic rubber band.

What happens when you pull a cold rubber band?

It snaps.

But when the elastic rubber band is warm, the elasticity and stretchiness increases and becomes more flexible.

You would also first gently coax the cold rubber band with shorter pulls, rather than pulling it all the way to its capacity.

The same goes for your dynamic warm ups.

If you’re doing a standing side to side leg swing, start with a smaller range of motion, then build up to longer leg swings.

Hopefully you get the point.

Do dynamic stretching before working out and static stretching after your workout.

When Should You Do Static Stretching?

Static stretching should be performed after your workout, as part of the cool down.

The cool down is the perfect time for static stretching since your body is already warmed up and your muscle will be tight after the workout.

Static stretching along with foam rolling can help get rid of knots and loosen up your muscles.

5 Foam Rolling Stretching Exercises For Your Cool Down

These are a few of the main reasons why you should focus on doing static stretching post workout.

Static Stretching Examples:

Here are a few examples of static stretches from our Team Live Lean 31 Day Workout Challenge program.

Lying Crossover Stretch

The Lying Crossover Stretch is a great way to open up your hips and stretch your piriformis muscle in your glutes.

To get started:

  1. Lie down on your back, bend your knees and plant your feet into the ground, with your arms down by your sides and palms facing the floor.
  2. Bring one knee up to your chest and grab the outside of your knee with the opposite hand.
  3. Pull your knee towards your opposite shoulder while keeping your head, back, and shoulders flat against the floor.
  4. Hold for approximately 20 seconds, then lower your foot back to the ground.
  5. Repeat the same movement with the opposite leg.

Couch Stretch

The Couch Stretch is a great way to improve mobility and flexibility in the hips.

To get started:

  1. Get down on your hands and knees with your feet against a wall or couch. Keeping one knee on the floor, lift the opposite foot and slide it up the wall (or the front of the couch) until the top of your foot and shin is flat against the wall. Step forward with the opposite leg so you foot is directly below your knee.
  2. Lift your torso up so it’s inline with your quad on the back leg. Squeeze your glutes and contract your hamstrings by trying to pull your heel to your butt.
  3. Set the timer, hold, and repeat with the other leg.

Bottom Line: The Best Way To Warm Up Before Working Out

This is why dynamic stretching is so good for you as part of a warm up before your workout.

Best Tips To Warm Up Before Lifting Weights

Then save static stretching for after your workout when you’re already warm.

There are definitely benefits to static stretching, but just make sure you are warm first.

Find The Best Program For Your Goals

To find the best program for you, go take our Live Lean Body quiz.

Answer four simple questions and we’ll get you on the best program based on your goals.

Our Live Lean programs comes with warm-ups, workouts, cool downs, and nutrition plans.

We have it all.

Go take the Live Lean Body Quiz here.

Check out this 7 minute follow along dynamic stretch routine with Jessica.


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  • What is your favorite warm up exercise?

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