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Work Out Like a Pro

Warm-Up Exercises - Butt Kicks and Knee Highs

It wasn't that long ago that extensive static stretching -- where you hold a stretch without moving -- before a workout was considered a smart thing to do. It was the best way to avoid injury, so we thought. But recent studies have changed the way we prepare for workouts. Too much pre-workout static stretching has the same effect as continually stretching a rubber band. Your muscles lose the tension and snapback needed for twitchy, explosive movements like stealing a base or chasing a drive into the gap. What you gain in flexibility, you lose in power and response. And the most surprising findings from recent studies show that pre-workout static stretching doesn't necessarily help prevent injury.

So what are we supposed to do before working out? We can't go cold into deadlifts, right? Most of today's popular circuit-style workouts preach dynamic stretching and active warm-ups to replace static stretching -- activities where you move through a complete range of motion to getthe muscles warmed up, without the loss of power. And a good place to start is where most of our power comes from: the glutes and legs.

About 20-60 seconds of high knee and butt kick exercises should get the glutes and legs warmed up and ready for a workout.

Posted in Work Out Like a Pro

The Dignity Health Editorial Team manages the "Health Matters" blog with the mission of empowering our readers to be proactive about holistic wellness. We aim to provide clear and practical guidance around navigating health care through our unique lens of kindness, compassion, and humanity.

*This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute health care advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or physician before making health care decisions.