The Dynamic Warm-Up

The warm-up has become one of the most overlooked parts of training, but could pay big dividends on the back end and improve performance. When returning to training after a break, or even when gearing up to participate in a local 5k, doing a dynamic warm-up can help the body prepare for exercise.

A dynamic warm-up consists of several exercises that are performed with short, purposeful movements, as opposed to static stretches that are held for 30 seconds or longer. The main goals are to improve flexibility of muscles and connective tissue while increasing the body’s awareness, heart rate, blood flow and body temperature.  

Here is a simple dynamic warm-up that can be done when you’re tight on space, like at a crowded race or busy gym.

Repeat the following sequence 10 times on each side, alternating between the left and the right leg.

 

Step 1: Standing Figure 4

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From a standing position, lift the left ankle onto the right knee just above the knee cap.

Slowly bend the standing leg, applying slight pressure to the left knee while keeping the hips square and back straight.

Drop down into the stretch.  

Hold for 2-3 seconds.  

 

Step 2: Knee Hug with Heel Raise

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Stand straight back up.

Grab the left knee and hug it to the body and raise up onto the toes on the right (standing) leg

Hold for 2-3 seconds.  

 

Step 3: Ankle Pull

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Grab the front of the left ankle.

Pull the ankle behind and away from the body, keeping the hips square and back straight.

Hold for 2-3 seconds.  

 

Step 4: Reverse Lunge with Thoracic (Upper Back) Rotation

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Step back with the left foot into a reverse lunge, while placing the left hand onto the ground next to the right foot.  

Slowly twist the upper body to the right, reaching for the sky with the right hand.

Hold for 2-3 seconds.  

 

Step 5: Drinking Bird

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Slowly stand up and straighten out the left leg behind the body.

Bend forward from the waist, reaching for the floor with both hands.

 Hold for 2-3 seconds.  

The Queen’s Center for Sports Medicine provides comprehensive care for the treatment and prevention of sports injuries and conditions in athletes and active people of all ages. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call 808-691-4449 or visit www.queensmedicalcenter.org/sports-medicine.