Quick & Easy Dynamic Warm-Up

Dynamic warm-ups are a great way to warm yourself up and prep your muscles to run before your easy days. In college my coach was adamant about making us do our dynamic warm-ups every day, but during the summers when it was up to me to do them I almost always “forgot”. The start of each new season was always rough because even though some of the warm-up exercises we did seemed funny they really worked some important muscles.

Since I’m back to early morning runs and since it’s been so chilly in Massachusetts I’ve finally gotten back into the habit of dynamic warm-ups for the first time since college. They really help my just-got-out-of-bed muscles wake up and get ready for the running they are about to do.

Some benefits of dynamic warm-ups include…

– Warms up the core temperature of your muscles which makes them more elastic and powerful.

– Prepares your muscles for the specific action of running, making them more efficient when you starting your run.

– Improves the range of motion in your joints which decreases your risk of injury.

Below is the warm-up routine that I have been following. It is six simple moves (sun stretch, forward lunge with reach, squat stretch, backward lunge with twist, lateral lunge and one-legged squats) repeated 10-20 times through each. I promise taking the little time it takes to do these exercises is worth it. It doesn’t take long at all and it really the time while your Garmin attempts to locate your position go by a lot faster. 😉 Feel free to start with fewer than 10/20 of each exercise and slowly build your way up.

Sun Stretch

How: Bend over and touch your toes, keeping your legs straight. Stand up with your arms in a “field goal” position and stretch your back. Repeat 10-20 times.

Muscles it warms up: Hamstrings, calves, arms and back

Sun Stretch - Front

Sun Stretch - SideForward Lunge with Reach 

How: Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Step forward with one foot into a lunge position, at the same time reach your arms forwards and towards the ground in front of you. Return to standing. Repeat 10 times per side.

Targeted MusclesQuads, hamstrings, arms and core muscles

Forward Lunge with ReachSquat Stretch

How: Stand with feet slightly further than should width apart. Squat down and reach for the floor with your hands. Stand up and reach your arms overhead. Repeat 10-20 times.

Targeted MusclesQuads, glutes and arms.

Squat and Reach - Front

Backward Lunge with Twist

How: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hands together in front of your chest. Step back with one foot into a deep lunge. Twist over your FRONT leg, crossing your elbow over your knee. Repeat 10 times per side.

Targeted Muscles: Quads, hamstrings and core muscles

Back Lunge with TwistLateral Lunge

How: Stand with your feet should width apart. With your right leg step about 2 feet to the side into a lunge position. Hold for about 2 seconds and return to center. Repeat on the opposite side. 10 times per side.

Targeted Muscles: Quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes.

Lateral LungeSingle Leg Squat

How: Stand on one leg, squat down as low as comfortable touching the ground if you are able. Return to your starting position. Repeat 10-15 times per leg.

Targeted Muscles: Quads, glutes and core.

Single Leg Squats - Front

Single Leg Squats - SideDo you do dynamic warm-ups?

How is the weather where you are? It has been really strange here the past week. Rain storm Friday/Saturday, 90’s on Monday and then 45ish on Tuesday. Oh New England how I love you!



21 thoughts on “Quick & Easy Dynamic Warm-Up

  1. I usually like to get my body moving but I have never done moves like those. i usually do heel walks and toe walks then high knees and butt kicks then a few walking lunges. Just for about 2 minutes, which probably isn’t enough!

  2. Although some of these seem familiar from reading about stretching, your pictures and descriptions, particularly with the respective muscle areas being worked, are fantastic! I cannot wait to try these.

    Saturday mid-morning to afternoon – hot and muggy with rainstorms galore that lasted most of Sunday – Monday. It’s been in the high 50s/low 60s at the peak, which is nice when you plan for it. You gotta love the Midwest weather.

    • I’m so happy that you found this helpful! Let me know what you think after you’ve tried them out!

      And I heard on the news this morning that the mid-west is getting temperatures much colder than normal this weekend. Stay warm!

  3. Hmmmm, I guess we have a different meanings of the word dynamic. When going out for group runs, we do dynamic stretches while moving (walking or light jog). Since you’re not moving, I’d consider your stretches static. Either way, whatever works best for you. Thanks for sharing!

    • What you’re describing sounds more like what I call drills. These stretches are considered dynamic because you aren’t holding one position for 30-45 seconds. You are constantly moving between different positions to get a stretch.

  4. Thanks for sharing some great dynamic warm ups! I had to do warm ups like these all of the time in high school, but then stopped when I graduated. I have started doing dynamic warm ups again though because I am afraid this might be one reason I injured my hamstring in marathon training. I know I need to take care of my body more.

    • These types of things are definitely easier to do when someone is telling you you have to (like on a high school or college team) but if you take the little bit of time it takes to do them you will get a lot of benefits! 🙂

  5. Pingback: My Writing Process: A Blog Tour | Will Run for Boston

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