If you watch an animal when it wakes up, it progressively moves its body every which way, one motion tumbling into the next in a primal organic sequence. It also contracts its muscles while it is lengthening them to maximize the internal friction and hasten fluids back into the muscles, connective tissues and joints.

The specialized fibers within our muscles that contract at a fast rate to maximize power and force need to be trained and turned on in order to make fast movements on the playing field or dance floor. Dynamic stretching has been proven to stimulate these responses within our muscles. So performing a dynamic stretch before engaging in sports is very beneficial.

Keep your shoulders healthy and functioning well for tennis, golf, hockey and any other sports you play with the Pranic Bath dynamic stretch below (and also on the 10 Minute Quick Fix Shoulders video):

Read about self massage for pain.

Check out our Post athletic stretch DVD

Learn about our Self Massage Therapy Ball Programs.

Jill Miller

Jill Miller, C-IAYT, ERYT is the co-founder of Tune Up Fitness Worldwide and creator of the self-care fitness formats Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model® Method. With more than 30 years of study in anatomy and movement, she is a pioneer in forging relevant links between the worlds of fitness, yoga, massage, athletics and pain management. She is known as the Teacher’s Teacher and has trained thousands of movement educators, clinicians, and manual therapists to incorporate her paradigm shifting self-care fitness programming into athletic and medical facility programs internationally. She has crafted original programs for 24 Hour Fitness, Equinox, YogaWorks, and numerous professional sports teams. She and her team of 500+ trainers help you to live better in your body with an emphasis on proprioception, mobility, breath mechanics and recovery. She has presented case studies at the Fascia Research Congress and International Association of Yoga Therapy conferences. She has the rare ability to translate complex physiological and biomechanical information into accessible, relevant moves that help her students transform pain, dysfunction and injury into robust fitness. Jill is the anatomy columnist for Yoga Journal Magazine and has been featured in Shape, Men’s Journal, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, Yoga Journal, Self, and on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Jill is regularly featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network. She is the creator of dozens of DVD’s including Treat While You Train with Kelly Starrett DPT and is the author of the internationally bestselling book The Roll Model: A Step by Step Guide to Erase Pain, Improve Mobility and Live Better in your Body. Based in Los Angeles, CA, she is a wife and mother of two small children and is currently writing her second book.

30
Leave a Reply

 
30 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
30 Comment authors
Missy Tillman

Great information to support the importance of dynamic stretching and I love the image of a waking animal

Annie

We’ve been seing this today with Mimi Martel at the tune up teaching, so great and all knew for me, thanks !

Isabelle P

We have tried it reverse way : it warmed-up the brain too…

melissa jones

I just have to say I love dynamic stretching especially YTU style! Its had such a huge impact on my daily life activities and the amount of ROM I have to do the things I love. Since my shoulders are such a crazy bound up place for me, pranic bath gives me ROM quickly all while grounding me as it is synced with breath. Sometimes when I am expressing ROM in my shoulders its so tight I forget to breath! This allows me to concentrate on both in a very fluid and uplifting way. Its also a great way for… Read more »

Nick Shrewsbury

Dynamic stretching is fascinating! So cool that we can learn stretching from animals!

Sophie

This stretch is definitely so great for warming up the shoulders to prepare them for exercise and also useful for improving shoulder mobility!

Jill McCubbin-Clare

Love this exercise not only for the shoulders, but for the mind to follow the DOM’s and execute them in a smooth fashion.

Eva Hamilton

We learned the pranic bath today in YTU level one. I loved this stretch! Can’t wait to share this with students.

Jillian

I’ve grew up playing various sports and we would always do static stretching before we would practice, but that never made me feel prepared to start digging or sprinting in volleyball. It wasn’t until I worked at the physical therapy clinic and with collegiate teams that dynamic stretching was much more beneficial. So I began doing a sequence of dynamic walks before doing hikes or any physical activity.

Charles

This is great. I have been enjoying this kind of stretching so much, it seem to get more deeply into the body than so much of the yoga i have done. Moving my joins in a circular motion has been very freeing.

Thank you

Katie Fornika

I found it so interesting to learn that static stretching actually decreases muscle strength by up to 30 percent (university of Nevada study). Now I am all over dynamic stretches like pranic bath and matador circles and shoulder flossing before hitting the surf or badminton.

David Ibrahim

I love dynamic stretching, I grew up playing America Handball and have played for more than 20 years, And I would passively stretch before playing and my body was always sore after (plus I would play for up to 8 hours in a session sometimes 4 hours daily, what can I say I’m a sensation junkie). But I had an injury almost everyday, now I have an awesome dynamic stretch warm up before playing and a cool down restorative stretching for after playing.

The Yoga life is an amazing life! Knowledge feels great!

Petra Boumedienne

This exercise looks great! I’m going to test it right away on my hockey player students!

Nick Outlaw

I love your analogy of watching an animal waking up! Like a cat (cat pose), dog (downward and upward dog).

Ellen Blumenfeld

I use the pranic bath with my students often to warm the shoulders. I give the verbal cue “lead with the pinky fingers” for one direction, and “lead with your thumbs for the other” It seemed to click. I really like exercises that involve retraining the brain and moving in new ways.

Loong

I hadn’t seen this exercise before this video. I’ll definitely be using it while warming up for golf, and adding in some prasarita lunges as well for the legs. In addition to better warming up muscles, dynamic stretches are just more fun to do than static stretches.

Sandy

Maybe now I can get back to my tennis game.

Ariel Marcoux

Any time before Flamenco dance class I am going to incorporate these stretches into class and do them before hand – awesome!

Pam_SF

This is a fabulous stretch that is both functional and incorporates a beautiful flow of movement. Love this one.

Susan

I have done this dynamic stretch and it feels soooooo good. There are so many directions of motion around this joint and this one targets them all. I plan on using this regularly as a warm-up in my pilates classes along with the yoga classes.

Zvia

This looks like a great dynamic stretch that rincludes roatetion of the shoulders, elbows and wrists. I recently read that performing dynamic stretching in the morning “resets” the resting muscle length for the day.

Liz

That’s a great stretching exercise to hit all the muscles in the arms! I’m trying this one out tomorrow morning.

Susan Cooper

I’ve never seen this shoulder stretch before watching the video. What a great stretch. I plan on incorporating it into my morning routine. Very refreshing. Thanks!

Rima

Dynamic stretching is such a wonderful way to wake up the muscles and lubricate the joints. This exercise looks great because it incorporates flexion and extension of the shoulders, elbows and wrists- all in one!

Jad

The pronation of the forearms helps the tricky transition with flipping the wrists over prior to beginning the circle behind the back. The extension of the shoulders while drawing the circle gives a great stretch to begin those activities that use the shoulders the most such as tennis, golf, baseball and hockey.

Anne

What a great observation about animal behavior that should cue the rest of us! I am constantly amazed by the consistent downward and upward facing dog my lab instictually performs every morning. Using dynamic stretching as a way of “waking up” muscle fibers and inviting lubrication in the joints gets us ready for the day – as my dog knows well! He does this as a way of resetting the resting muscle length for the day. Great reminder for all of us!

Nui K

I will use this sequence for waking up my Deltoid, Pectoralis , Biceps brachii and all the other shoulder muscles after the long hours at the computer.

Greta C

Wow I didn’t realize we can circumduct the shoulders, elbows and arms all at the same time. Great way to warm up our joints!

scott

in yoga we often forget the dynamic stretch. good reminder.

Amy

I am going to start doing this before I play my tennis matches!