In this week's exercise of the week - let's dive into some posture drills for training dynamic flexibility.
What is dynamic flexibility? I first came across this term when taking ALTIS sprinting performance courses, and signing up for their ALTIS 360 training app. In track warm ups, they distinguished specific sections of the warm up for dynamic flexibility and others for dynamic mobility. Dynamic mobility involved a drill like forward skipping with swinging arms. Dynamic flexibility, on the other hand, involved drills like today's exercise of the week: "Scorpions", for example.
I think the dynamic mobility stuff likely preceded the flexibility stuff, simple due to its active nature. Active mobility can activate the muscles, encourage neurological activity and firing to the areas you're working, and improve end range, muscle temperature, and suppleness to the movements. By contrast, dynamic flexibilty is ballistic in nature, and after a quick definition search, ballistic-type stretching is by definition:
"Ballistic stretching uses the momentum of a moving body or a limb in an attempt to force it beyond its normal range of motion. This is stretching, or "warming up", by bouncing into (or out of) a stretched position, using the stretched muscles as a spring which pulls you out of the stretched position."
By definition, ballistic stretching is more aggressive and quick, and uses the end range of the muscle more. These ballistic dynamic movements mimic sporting movements more closely than slow, controlled, dynamic mobility often performed in the early stages of the warm up, and in preparation for sport or activity, makes sense to prep the body for. Therefore, it makes sense to place this dynamic, ballistic flexibility later in the warm up, not first.
This week, with Les's permission (if you've been following, we learn a lot from our mentor and co-coach, Les Gramantik), we're sharing a few drills from the dynamic flexibility, or ballistic movement section of our warm up.
Here are some coaching cues and notes.
1. Try to keep head and shoulders down throughout the drills, and palms stay flat, down towards the ground.
2. Keep knees straight during Iron Cross and Straight Leg Raise
3. Keep knees bent, and open up through the hip flexors on the Scorpion.
4. The leg that is not swinging should stay straight and un-kinked
5. Switch up the order, the number, and the intensity, depending on the day, proximity to competition, and experience!
Sign up for an account above (simply click "login") and stay in-the-know about future blog posts as soon as they come out!