When you walk into the gym excited to work out, feeling energized and alert, the last thing you want to do is sit down and hold stretches for 30 seconds — and that's precisely why dynamic stretching is the best option for warming-up.
Static stretching can actually make your muscles slower and less powerful in the beginning of your workout. You can avoid that by doing dynamic stretching instead. It helps that dynamic stretching is very active because your body temperature is increasing as you stretch because you're moving around. Warming up your body is, after all, the whole point of a warm-up!
Hip stretches can be particularly slow and time-consuming, given that there are so many muscles around your hip that turn it every which way. You have to rotate your hip, flex it and extend it to stretch every muscle. That's why you need exercises in your warm-up that use range of motion and can even seem like a workout in and of themselves.
Do this warm-up before a lower-body workout to increase your range of motion and protect your hips.
Facing forward, step your leg out to the right. Your feet should be further than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forwards. Lean to the right as far as you can, straightening out your left knee and sticking your butt back. Then, lean all the way to the left and straighten the right knee. Step your feet together, step out to the right, and repeat. Then, repeat this stepping to the left.
90/90 Hip Stretch
Sit on the ground with one knee bent in front of you at 90 degrees and one knee bent behind you at 90 degrees. Lift both knees up and turn to face the leg behind you, keeping your heels planted on the ground. Keep switching back and forth, feeling a stretch in your hips.
Pick one leg up, bending at the knee, and grab the front of your shin. Pull it up as high as you can and then step forward with that leg, pulling the other leg up.
Single-Leg Toe Touch
Stand in place on one leg. Kick the leg in the air straight back and lean over, keeping your back flat. Reach the hand opposite from the foot that's on the ground over to touch your toes. Then, stand up and go back down. To challenge your balance, try to do this without tapping your leg in the air on the ground.
Start in a standing position. Step back with your right leg as far as you can and drop your right knee down to the ground. Then, in one motion, stand back up. Switch sides by stepping the left leg back. Keep alternating for 10 reps on each side.
From a standing position, pick your right knee up and grab it with your right hand. Take your left hand and grab your right ankle. Keep your right knee in place, but pull your right ankle up toward your left shoulder to rotate your hip. Then, step forward on your right leg and pick up the left leg to stretch.
Walking forward, swing the leg that isn't on the ground up. Try to get it as high as possible, aiming for shoulder height. Touch the toes of the foot that's swinging with the opposite hand.
- Inner Body: Muscles of the Hip
- European Journal of Applied Physiology: A review of the acute effects of static and dynamic stretching on performance
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Acute Effects of Static versus Dynamic Stretching on Isometric Peak Torque, Electromyography, and Mechanomyography of the Biceps Femoris Muscle
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Effect of Warm-Ups Involving Static or Dynamic Stretching on Agility, Sprinting, and Jumping Performance in Trained Individuals
- Dr. Ben Kim: An Introduction to 90/90 Hip Mobility Exercises