Dynamic Warm Up

While the list of warm up drills presented in this sequence is by no means exhaustive, it does provide a good general starting point for most. The specific choices for warm up movements can evolve over time for each trainee depending on their particular issues/needs as well as the nature of the workout being performed. These movements below are appropriate for most strength, running, or sport based activities. The important things are that A) a warm up is performed, and B) it serves the purposes of raising core body temperature, activating muscles, and lubricating joints.

10 Body Weight Squats/20-30 Jumping Jacks Combo X3

This pairing is designed to raise your core body temperature in preparation for whatever type of workout is to be performed that day. Here are the key points:

  • Use Proper Squat Form (link to Squat Page?): Stand with feet at least shoulder width apart, sit back, breaking at the hips, and push those knees out. There is generally no need to exceed a parallel thigh depth (or even a bit higher)

  • Vary your Jumping Jack Arm Motion: Use standard overhead motions, as well as horizontal w/ palms facing each other, and for the more coordinated, palms facing the floor w/ hands and feet crossing over.

  • Complete 3 ROUNDS

Single or Double Leg Glute Bridges X10

These will get the glutes firing properly and prepare them to hold up their end of the bargain during your workout, be it running, strength training, or sports activities. There are fairly simple but remember:

  • Fully Extend the Hip: Make sure you squeeze that glute fully and as far as it will go on each rep.

  • Do Not Arch the Lower Back: Keep your abs tight while pushing with the glute. This will ensure you stay in a safe spinal position and neutral pelvic tilt.

Hamstring Kicks from the Knee X10/Leg

This is an active stretch of the knee flexors that also serves to activate the knee extensors, or quadriceps. Remember:

  • Lie on your back and keep a neutral (neither arched nor rounded) lower back throughout.

  • Keep the foot/toes dorsiflexed (pulled up towards your face) throughout each rep.

  • Try to hold the thigh at a level that produces a moderate stretch when the knee is fully extended. Too far will prevent you from achieving extension and not far enough won’t produce an effective stretch. You should have to contract your quadricep somewhat forcefully at the top of each rep.

Knee Circles X10/Leg

These will wake up the Hip Abductors (outter thigh and hip muscles), getting them ready to properly stabilize and position the hips and knees during your activities. They also get the hips loosened up and ready to work through their complete range of motion. On these:

  • Get down on all fours to start. Draw 10 loops out to the side with your knee flexed at 90 degrees. Repeat on the other side.

  • Don’t substitute spinal motion for hip range of motion: Simply put, don’t throw your back into these. Try to remain “quiet” in the lumbar spine and make your circles as big and wide as the hips will allow.

Hamstring Kicks X10 + Hold w/ 5 Ankle Pumps

This active stretch will loosen up the hamstrings without putting them to sleep (like a long static hold can), as well as getting “flossing” of the sciatic nerve (which can help it glide smoothly along its path down your leg; hopefully reducing or preventing discomfort in this area). Remember:

  • Lie on your back and keep a neutral (neither arched nor rounded) lower back throughout.

  • Keep the foot/toes dorsiflexed (pulled up towards your face) throughout each rep.Knees as straight as possible and constant throughout each rep.

  • Don’t be too sudden or violent with your kicks. They should be smooth and not force you past your true current range of motion.

  • On rep #10, hold in the stretch position and do 5 quick FULL RANGE ankle pumps.

IHurdle (or Racked Barbell) Step Over Drill X10-20 Crosses

The purpose of this drill is to loosen up and lubricate the hip joints before we start asking them to do exert force, bear loads, and move efficiently during our workout. The bar or hurdle should be set, most, a few inches lower than the trainee’s inseam height. If one is lacking in hip flexion range of motion, then the clearance should initially be set even lower. Step back and forth (left & right) over the barrier, attempting to maximize hip flexion and minimize any forward or lateral flexion in the spine (choosing an appropriate height is a big part of this).

Mountain Climber Dynamic Stretch X10-12 switches

Now that the body is heated up a bit and the hips are getting warmed up, this stretch will engage the adductors (inner thigh muscles), hamstrings, hip flexors, deep hip rotators, PLUS, activate the abdominal and shoulder musculature. To do these:

  • Assume a pushup or plank position.

  • Place either foot flat on the ground at about the level of your hands. Foot must be outside the hands and frame of your body. This won’t work if you try to put the foot right under the body.

  • EASY VERSION- Place the front foot back and then place the opposite foot up by your hands (but outside)

  • HARDER VERSION- Switch your foot position simultaneously in one quick motion.

Split Hip Flexor Stretch X20-30 seconds per Leg

Most trainees, young and old, sedentary or active and athletic, will tend towards having tight hip flexors. This can be from frequent and/or prolonged sitting or from extensive use in sport or training. Therefore, in most cases, a brief static stretch of this muscle group will serve to further free up the hips and allow for improved posture and performance. To execute:

  • Assume a staggered stance, placing the knee of the rear leg on an exercise mat or other padded surface. Make sure you have a decent spread; go for at least a 90 degree angle at each knee.

  • To optimize the stretch, slightly rotate the rear thigh in towards your center (internally rotate). This will result in the shin/foot of that leg to flare out a little to the side.

  • Tilt your pelvis back slightly. This is done by contacting your abdominal muscles to tuck your tailbone under you.

  • Holding these positions, allow yourself to drop or slide into the stretch. It should be felt high along the front/inner thigh and sometimes deeper up into the pelvis as well.