Functional Stretching and Flexibility Training – Dynamic Total Body Warm Up

Here is a dynamic stretching routine that will prepare you for most activities in life.

In this routine we cover most planes of motion while you operate on two feet.

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Stretch intentionally, not habitually,



Hello, this is Naudi Aguilar at Functional Patterns, and for today’s video tutorial I’m going to be showing you a three dimensional, dynamic stretching routine. These exercises are designed specifically to help you meet demands, or exceed the demands, of the environment that you are going to face when you’re playing sports, or when you’re just tackling your day overall. We’re going to be incorporating all three planes of motion in each one of these dynamic stretches, and even more importantly, we’re going to also incorporate the mixture of different planes of motion, which is specifically what you’re going to find in life whenever you’re doing movements. We’re never going to be in one singular plane, ever, and almost all movement is going to be multi-planed to one degree or the other.

To start, what we’re going to be focusing on for the most part are spiral patterns. Spiral patterns are the ones that we tend to find the most in life whenever we’re moving. The spiral patterns oftentimes are going to incorporate a lot of rotation of the thoracic spine, rotation right here in the trunk, and we are going to emphasize that to a great deal, and mix that with different planes of motions.

First and foremost, what we’re going to do is actually take our arms off to our side here, as you guys can see, and what I’m going to have you do, you’re going to pick a side to rotate to. I’ll have you guys … You can mirror me, if you’re in front of your phone, or in front of your computer screen, I’ll have you actually turning one palm up. Now, the palm that’s going to be turned upward is going to be the side that we rotate to. Specifically, because what that’s going to do is enable us to get a dynamic stretch out of the pec major.

The pec major, which tends to be an internal rotator, and a horizontal adductor, along with many other functions, but the ones that we’re concerned with right now are the internal rotation. Well, if they’re short on an internal rotation, they’re going to lengthen on an external rotation. As we come back this way, we’re going to take this tug right here, and stretch out that pec major, and that’s going to lead to a stretching also happening in the rest of the trunk. The movement is going to essentially look like this: the palm comes up, thumb comes across, and we get the stretch. You’re going to use that elastic pull, then internally rotate, externally rotate, and go back the other way.

This is what it’s going to primarily look like. You can get a little movement in the hips, but we want to minimize that motion in the hips to ensure that we get more oblique sling stretching going on as we rotate back and forth from here to here. We rotate back and forth. Make sure that we’re incorporating a neutral spine, so the TBA’s engage, the rib cage is expanded, and making sure that we’re holding that intra-abdominal pressure together to ensure that we don’t begin to get excessive lateral shifts. That can be bad on the lumbar spine, and that’s really not going to prepare you for the environment, for reality as we see it.

Again, TBA’s incorporated, diaphragm is incorporated, the intra-abdominal pressure is in place, and we let that thoracic spine flow. You want to be sure that the knees don’t rotate. The knees need to be fixed in space. They should not be rotating. If they do move, LCL’s and MCL’s are going to take a great deal of pressure there, and we don’t need that.

That right there is going to be the first one. Always just think, palm goes up, and that’s the side that you rotate to.

After that, what we’re going to do is move on into a unilateral stance. When I have one foot in front of the other, we’re going to be working from a unilateral stance, and we’re just going to be taking our steps like if we were walking. As we take those steps, all we’re going to do is rotate along with that, so if my right leg is forward, my right palm will be up, and I will be rotating my trunk in that direction. After that, I swing my arms. Boom, go to the other side, and then I just alternate, so now I’m incorporating engagements of my glutes, and my lats, my pecs, and my obliques. I’m getting those engagements as we go back and forth. You want to primarily keep your pressure on your lead foot. You can also extend your stride a little bit farther, as that will make it a little more challenging because you are going to be traveling a little more into hyperextension, but as long as you maintain control for the most part you’ll be good.

A lot of movements tuned into fineness, and hyperextension, and suboptimal circumstances, so that’s what you want to do for that. I’ll give you guys a sagittal plane view of that. Again, the motion’s going to be rotating your torso to the left, and your left leg being planted, and your palm being up on this side as well. Rotating my torso, take my steps, keeping my pressure on my lead foot, and on each one of these you should feel like your body feels like a whip. You should see like my body should primarily look like an elastic set of whips, and that should look and feel connected all the way down to your feet if you’re doing it correctly.

The last stretch that we’re going to be defining ourselves doing is going into a frontal planed motion. We’re going to be stepping out, doing a side lunge. Then we’re going to do the same kind of rotation. You guys will see I go here, boom. Palm goes up, and to the right on this one over here, internal rotation here, external rotation here. You should begin to get a good stretch right here out of the adductors along with those obliques. To bring yourself back, just think about giving yourself a good lateral drive off of that leg. You have to time it though.

If you set yourself going here, and then you just push, well, you’re already rotating that way. That kind of screws up the kinetic sequence, so what you have to think of is as the arms come this way, after they come this way, that’s when you initiate your force, so it’s here. You set yourself into the next repetition. All you’re going to think about as you come over is continuing falling in that direction. Don’t fall this way. You can also do this, but that’s not my concern. You can do that if you want to. I’m just giving you guys an option there. It’s internal rotation, external rotation.

Once you get done with that side, you go here, continuing to fall towards the side, so we continue that biorhythm. There you have a dynamic stretching routine. My body feels real good, real loose, and I’m ready to move. That’s connecting the entire body. In each one of those motions, we’re connecting all the anatomy trains that Tom Myers talks about into these motions, and it’s very effective, and you should feel all ready to go for whatever sport you’re going after, and even beyond that, a warmup isn’t absolutely necessary when it comes to movement. If you were in nature, the last thing you’d have to do is warmup. But with that said, because we do live in modern culture, we’re stationary all day, and we’re stressed out, it’s very important to get that fascia to loosen up from time to time. This can be something that you can incorporate maybe once a week, a couple times a week.

In terms of repetitions, you do it depending on how you feel. If you still feel kind of tight and restricted, you may need to do it for a little bit longer, or it maybe that you also have to go back to the myofascial release stuff, and just basic postural stuff. If you can’t hold a standing neutral position very effectively, and hold your posture together very well, odds are you’re not going to do very well on these stretches anyway. Make sure that you go back to those basic principles before you advance yourself into something dynamic like this.

Anyway, be on the lookout for more YouTube videos in the future. This is Naudi Aguilar at Functional Patterns reminding you to train intentionally, and not habitually. Take care.