Use This Leg Warm-Up Before Speed Drills and Lower-Body Lifts to Get a More Effective Workout

A leg warm-up may not be all that exciting, but it's well worth your time.

Are you an athlete looking for a new leg warm-up? Or are you one who can't figure out how to consistently get your body ready for activity?

Warm muscles perform better and are more likely to avoid injury. It's as simple as that. If you ignore this essential part of your workout, you are only doing yourself a disservice.

A leg warm-up may not be all that exciting. But it's well worth your time.

Unfortunately, there's so much bad information out there on warm-ups that it makes it hard to know what to do. Athletes end up doing something that's ineffective or they spend far too long doing every mobility drill and corrective exercise under the sun.

To keep things simple, I have my athletes perform this simple leg warm-up. It quickly loosens up the hips and activates critical muscles in the hips and other lower-body muscles. Do this before a speed workout or leg day, and follow it up with some dynamic movements, such as light Sprints, Jumping Jacks or Jump Rope.

1. Half-Kneeling Hamstring to Lower Glute Stretch

How to: Kneel on your left knee with your hands on the instep of your right foot. Without moving your hands, rock your weight back and straighten your forward leg to stretch your hamstrings. Hold for a few seconds, then bend your knee again. Repeat 10 times. Drop your right elbow as close to the ground as possible and hold for 20 seconds.

Sets/Reps: 1x10 + 20-second hold each side

2. Prayer Position Groin Stretch

How to: Squat down to full depth with a narrow stance. Keeping your heels on the ground, place your hands in the prayer position and pry your knees apart with your elbows.

Sets/Duration: 3x20 seconds

3a. Forward Monster Walks

How to: Place a lightweight resistance band around your ankles. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower into a quarter squat. Slowly walk forward.

Sets/Distance: 1x15 yards

3b. Side-to-Side Walks (Left)

How to: With the resistance band still around your ankles, shuffle to your left. Make sure to fully extend your trailing leg and maintain a quarter squat position.

Sets/Distance: 1x15 yards

3c. Backwards Monster Walks

How to: Use the same form as Forward Monster Walks, but walk backwards.

Sets/Distance: 1x15 yards

3d. Side-to-Side Walks (Right)

How to: Use the same form as Side-to-Side Walks (Left), but shuffle to your right.

Sets/Distance: 1x15 yards

Follow up with a quick dynamic warm-up and get right into your exercises!

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: WARM-UP | LOWER BODY | LEG EXERCISES