Leg swings are a great way to improve your speed, dynamic flexibility and hip mobility. They will make you a faster, more fluid athlete.
Side Leg Swings
Front Leg Swings
You need to do more than jog for 5 minutes when getting ready for your speed workout. Most people will have muscle areas that are tighter because of the way they live. An example would be tight hip flexors, which is common with people who sit for most of the day (thanks to technology!)
Gone are the days when static stretching before workouts was commonly accepted as the best method. Current research suggests that a dynamic stretching routine will prepare your body better for your speed workout. Among other things, a dynamic stretching routine will excite your central nervous system and juice up your muscles. Dynamic flexibility integrates various stretches in all three planes of motion to produce maximum extensibility of soft tissues throughout the full range of motion.
If your hip flexor muscles are not flexible, you will not even be a good athlete in your sport(s)! Tight hip flexors also lead to some painful injuries (like pulls and strains) that are hard to recover from.
Just swing your legs back and forth at least as high as your waistline. As you become more flexible, your legs will swing higher and more fluid.
Front and side leg swings are perfect to do before your speed workouts. Try them out today!
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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