Dynamic Warm-Ups for Runners and Lifters

STACK Expert Allen Langford hits on the importance of dynamic warm-ups and details a warm-up specifically for runners and another for lifters.

Warm-Up Drill

This may come as a shock: the warm-up is the most important part of your workout. I know it may seem easy, or even a waste of time; but as the saying goes, "If you don't have time to warm up, you don't have time to work out." (Watch Justin Upton's warm-up.)

A proper warm-up prepares your body for the activity you are about to perform. Gone are the days of static stretching. (Learn the basics of static stretching.) You must perform exercises that elevate your heart rate, increase blood flow, improve muscle elasticity and increase range of motion.

The combined effects of these exercises help you perform at your best at the start of a game or workout. You will have immediate access to your full repertoire of strength, speed and power. Your warm-up also helps protect you against injuries caused by overworking cold muscles or performing a skill in a range of motion that your body isn't ready for.

Below are two dynamic warm-ups, one for runners, the other for lifters.

Running Dynamic Warm-Up

  • Leg Swings (front-to-back & side-to side) x 15 each direction
  • Tiptoe Walks x 25 yards
  • Heel Walks x 25 yards
  • Jog Scoops x 20 yards
    • Bend to scrape the ground with your hands every 3 to 4 steps
  • Free Skips x 20 yards (max air)
  • Knee Hug Skips x 20 yards
    • Bring knee up to your chest and quickly hug it
  • High Knees x 20 yards
  • Frankenstein Walk x 20 yards
    • Kick your feet up to your hands at eye level
  • Backward Reach Run x 20 yards
    • Run backwards with long strides
  • Backpedal Scoops x 20 yards
    • Bend to scrape the ground with your hands every 3 to 4 steps
  • Low Brisk Shuffle x 20 yards each direction
  • Shuffle Scoops x 20 yards each direction
    • Bend to scrape the ground with your hands every 3 to 4 steps

Strength Training Dynamic Warm-Up

  • Arm Circles x 20 each direction
    • Extend your arms to the side and make small circles, first clockwise, then counterclockwise
  • Circle Hand Walks x 1 each direction
    • In a push-up position, walk your body in a full circle.
  • Inchworm Push-Ups x 10 yards
    • Walk your feet to your hands, then walk your hands out and perform a Push-Up
  • Prisoner Squats x 10
    • Hands behind your head
  • Hip Circles x 15 each leg, each direction
    • Start in an all-fours position
    • Lift your leg to the side, keeping your knee bent at 90 degrees
    • Extend your leg straight back, then return to the start position
    • Perform in reverse

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