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Everyone Knows This ... but do they?

Dynamic warm-up! Everyone knows what this means by now right? Maybe not.

Why is dynamic warm-up important? What does it include? What should you avoid?

A dynamic warm up is a series of movements performed in an active manner in order to raise the body's temperature in preparation for athletic performance. In contrast, a static warm-up (or static stretching) is a series of stretches performed without active movements aimed to stretch certain muscles in order to "loosen" up the body prior to playing sports.

There are physiological reasons to avoid performing static stretches prior to athletic participation. Within our muscles, we have structures called muscle spindles within the muscle belly, as well as Golgi tendon organ's (GTOs) within the musculo-tendinous junction (where the muscle becomes a tendon and attaches to bone). These structures are constantly relaying information to our brain about body and muscle position, as well as the amount of stretch placed on the tissues themselves. This constant flow of information leads to neural modulation and activation of the potential stretch-reflex mechanism as well as other neuromuscular responses. In summary, static stretching prior to competitive play may negatively affect our ability to perform at our best by changing the strength and power output of our muscles.

Studies have shown that performing static stretching prior to athletic participation leads to decreased overall performance, power output, and muscle performance during the activity. Therefore, it is very important to avoid static positions to "loosen" our muscles prior to playing Pickleball. Instead, a gradual dynamic warm-up should be completed in order to prepare the body and raise our internal temperature to optimal levels for optimal performance.

Check out the video above showing a Dynamic Warm Up Routine that I have found beneficial. It includes multiple movements which can often be found while playing pickleball. There are many ways to perform dynamic warm-ups, and finding one that fits your routine will ensure you are always properly warmed up and ready to play.

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