To get the most out of your workout, you want to make sure tight hips and stiff glutes don’t hold you back. Any sport that uses your lower body -- swimming, running, biking -- benefits from a proper dynamic warmup. A dynamic warmup prepares your body for action by raising your heart rate and blood flow, which increases your flexibility and mobility.
As a youngster, you most likely did static stretching before any physical activity. This is stretching where you hold a position for 30 seconds or more. This type of stretching actually impairs performance when done as a warmup. Instead, dynamic, or active, stretching shows to improve performance, according to the “European Journal of Applied Physiology” in 2011.
Hips and Glutes
Your hips are dynamic joints that connect your core to your legs. A dynamic warm-up increases blood flow and expands your range of motion. When it comes to your hips, this makes you more agile and improves your leg strength and stride length. Making up the meat of your buttock, your glutes start from your pelvis and insert into your femur and tibia. Three muscles make up your glutes: your gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. These muscles work together to hold your pelvis level, propel you forward and keep your leg and hips aligned. When your glutes are tight, it affects the rest of your legs.
A few effective hip exercises are hip circles, forward hurdles, lateral hurdles and the lying prone hurdler. To do the prone hurdler, lie on your stomach with your arms out to your sides so your body forms a "T." Keep your chest on the ground as you bend your right leg and bring your knee up and out toward your right elbow. Don’t let your knee touch the ground. Return to the starting position. Do two sets of 10 reps and then repeat on your left side.
Examples of dynamic warm-up exercises for your glutes include supine glute bridges with marching, reverse lunges with a twist and forward lunges with a twist and overhead reach. To do the glute bridge, lie on the floor face up with your knees bent. With your hands along your sides, raise up your hips so you create a straight line from your chest to your knees. Now march by lifting up your right leg so your hip and knee create a 90-degree angle. Return to the start and then repeat with your left leg. Continue for 30 seconds.
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