Never stretch cold muscles. Static stretches should be avoided before a workout; instead you can do some dynamic stretches. You can do static stretches during the cool down phase.
Warm-up is something that might not help to burn loads of calories, like a good running session would. But, it is important to follow a proper warm-up session prior to any workout.
A warm-up generally lasts for 10 minutes, however, you can warm up for a longer duration of time if you want.
Loosening the Joints
Loosening the joints helps greatly prior to a workout.
- Roll your wrists 15 times in forward and backward motion.
- Roll your neck 15 times clockwise and counterclockwise motion.
- Roll your shoulders 15 times with a forward and backward motion.
- Keeping your feet together, roll your waist 15 times in forward and backward motion.
- March on the spot, for 1 minute.
- Swing your arms front to back 15 times.
- Swing your arms side to side 15 times.
Dynamic stretches are different than the static stretches. In a static stretch a person stretches a particular body part, and holds that position for a few seconds. For example, touching the toes for stretching legs.
However, to warm up the legs, dynamic stretches focus on improving the range of motion. Swinging legs in different ways is an example of dynamic stretching. Here are some dynamic stretching exercises that you can follow before a workout.
Jumping jack is an excellent warm-up exercise. It involves use of both the legs and arms at the same time. It helps to loosen up the joints, and warm the muscles. So, you can do 30 - 50 jumping jacks for a better warm-up.
These warm-up exercises can be followed before any type of workout. However, there are some specific warm-up exercises that one has to follow prior to a dance class or sports.
For example, you will need to follow your drills prior to football, one has to follow specific dynamic stretching exercises prior to a dance workout, you will need to do a series of loosening kicks before kickboxing, etc. Talk to your fitness instructor to know more about warm-up exercises prior to a specific sports, fitness, or dance sessions.