Dynamic Warm Up

Dynamic Warm Up is an important part of exercise.

Whether you're trying to run as fast as Usian Bolt, playing in a weekend softball league, or just beginning a physical therapy session, a warm up of some kind is a necessary part of proper preparation. Warming up for physical activity can improve physical performance, decrease muscle soreness, and decrease risk of developing an injury. It does this by ramping up the cardiovascular system to help pump blood to our muscles and joints so that they are primed and ready for whatever activity you are about to perform.

So how do we warm up? Do we static stretch? Do we bike/run for everything? Like many things in life the answer is... It depends. The ideal warm up varies greatly depending upon the activity requirements. A good warm up may likely include light aerobic activity followed by a light version of whatever various activities you may be participating in. You can see this in runners. How do the best runners warm up for a race? They run! A more complex example may be baseball players. Prior to a game they will run, twist, stretch, throw, and hit to prepare for what will happen during a real game. 

So then what do we do in physical therapy? Obviously, it all depends on your ailment. We like to use things like a treadmill, bicycle, arm bike, or pulleys depending on what your difficulties are. These all serve as a gentle way to increase your heart rate and mimic various motions we are likely trying to target throughout your treatment. 

Of course there are exceptions and every person's situation is unique so your plan may look slightly different when compared to other patients. The key is to make sure you have a plan, stretch, and stay mobile!

 

Author
Bradley Holstein, PTA

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