Unleash Your Inner Beast With This 'Animal-Style' Warm-Up

These animal-inspired movements will add variety to your dynamic warm-up.

It's not secret sauce; any strength coach will tell you that warming up before a big workout is one of the best things you can do for your performance. With a proper dynamic warm-up, you prepare your body for an intense training session or game and reduce your risk for injury.

But if it sometimes gets tedious performing the same routine day after day, we have a solution. Spice up your next workout with these animal-inspired moves.

The following exercises, which mimic the way animals move naturally, are a great way to warm up, because they simulate primal, full-body movements that take your joints and muscles through a full range of motion.

Loosen up and give your inner animal free rein by performing these 10 simple animal-style moves.

RELATED: Animal Flow: A New Type of Exercise

Bunny Hops With Twist

Awakens hip muscles, calves and feet.

  • Hop forward on the balls of your feet.
  • As you jump, twist your hips to the left so your feet land at about 45 degrees and twist your arms to the opposite side.
  • Repeat with your feet to the right and continue alternating for the specified distance.

Sets/Distance: 2x10 yards

Duck Walk

Warms up the glutes, upper hamstring, thigh muscles and core stabilizers.

  • Lower into a deep squat with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • Keep your back flat and upright and your knees behind your toes.
  • With your arms out straight in front for balance, slowly walk your feet backward for the specified distance.

Sets/Distance: 2x10 yards

Dog Over Bush

Opens up and mobilizes hip muscles, namely the abductors and hip flexors.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your hands on your hips.
  • Raise your right knee to your chest, rotate your leg to the side and kick it back to take a step backward.
  • Take a small step back with your left foot to re-assume the starting stance.
  • Repeat with your left leg and continue for the specified distance.

Sets/Distance: 1x10 yards

Cat/Cow

Promotes mobility in the spine.

  • Get on your hands and knees with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips.
  • Inhale, arch your back and look up.
  • Exhale, look down, press into your hands and round your back like a cat.
  • Move slowly through these two positions.

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each position

Prone Scorpion

Promotes mobility in the spine, stretches the lower back, hip flexors, and obliques.

  • Lie on your stomach with your arms out to your sides, perpendicular to your body.
  • Lift your right leg off the ground with your knee slightly bent.
  • Squeezing your glute, gently swing your right leg over your left leg and touch your foot to the ground on the outside of your left leg.
  • Return to starting position
  • Repeat with your opposite leg.

Sets/Reps: 1x10 each side

Spider Lunge

Lengthens the glute and abductor muscles.

  • Assume a push-up position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • Keeping your back straight, step forward with your right leg so your foot is on the outside of your right hand.
  • Drive your hips down.
  • Walk your hands forward and repeat with your opposite leg.

Sets/Distance: 1x10 each leg

Inchworm

Improves hamstring flexibility, activates shoulder and core muscles.

  • Assume a push-up position.
  • Walk your feet forward to your hands, keeping your knees as straight as possible.
  • Continue until just before the stretch in your hamstrings is too intense.
  • Walk your hands out until you are back in the push-up position.

Sets/Reps: 2x10

Bear Crawl

Works the core, helps overall body coordination and control.

  • Assume a plank position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your back straight and core tight, step forward with your right foot and left hand.
  • Repeat with your opposite arm and leg, and continue walking forward for the specified distance.

Sets/Distance: 2x10 yards

RELATED: Why Bear Crawls Are All The Rage Right Now

Crab Walk

Strengthens the glutes and hamstrings, shoulder and triceps.

  • Assume a table position with your feet under your knees and your hands under your shoulders.
  • Keeping your hips up, walk backwards for the specified distance.

Sets/Distance: 2x10 yards

Leap Frog

Activates the legs, back and core muscles.

  • Assume a squat position with your fingertips touching the ground between your feet.
  • Explode out of the squat to jump up and forward.
  • Land with soft knees and immediately lower into a squat to return to the starting position.

Sets/Distance: 2x10 yards


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: WARM-UP | STANCE