The Joyful Anthology

Dynamic Warm Ups


Warming up before any workout is very important both for improving performance and preventing injury.

Dynamic warm-up: A dynamic warmup is recommended to do before a workout rather than after.

The Dynamic warm-up can also be considered activation drills for the workout. A dynamic warm-up is a series of movements designed to:
Increase blood flow
Increase body temperature
Activate the nervous system
Increase range of motion and mobility
Proprioception for the actual exercise to be performed
When done properly the dynamic warm-up will prepare you for a more efficient workout and will prepare you mentally for the workout you’re about to take on.

Try and set up extra time between 5 to15 minutes prior to your workout to give enough time to do a proper dynamic warm-up.

Do some core activation like planks to engage your core and avoid hyperextending the back and compensation.

Here are some warm ups I like to do prior to activity: (I use my intuition to tap in and do the ones I feel are right for that specific day)

Quick Yoga sequence
 “Yoga is a runner’s best friend, it aids in breathing, concentration, flexibility and mobility, strength (warrior poses, standing poses, balancing poses, chaturanga’s and boat pose), and injury prevention, as well as better recovery.” according to Kristen Mcgee, professional yoga instructor,and wellness expert

I personally love a flow of breathing and moving to loosen up and prime my body. I’ll do a few self designed salutations including downward dog, my favorite at the moment is Lizard pose for hip opening, warrior 1&2, pigeon and cobra.




These target the entire backside of your body and open up a lot of muscles that get stiff with prolonged sitting. It’s actually a dynamic version of vinyasa flow yoga.

How to do it:

Starting in a Downward Dog position on your hands and feet, walk your feet as far forward as possible while keeping your legs straight. Then, walk your hands out, extending your body into a pushup position and lower towards the floor, arching your back so that your head and shoulders reach to the sky. Then, flow back into Downward Dog. Walk your feet in again and repeat 5 times.

 Dynamic Pigeon

This is the ultimate glute loosener. If you’ve got tight hips, this is exercise that will be uncomfortable and rewarding at the same time.

How to do it:

In a push up position, bring your right knee toward your right hand while keeping your shin parallel to your hips so that your left foot comes just behind your left hand. Sink your hips towards the floor, feel the stretch, then return to push up position and repeat on the other leg. Go for 10 reps total.

Leg Swings

This is a great movement for opening up your hips and hamstrings.

How to do it:

Hold on to a wall or fixed surface (or do this move without support for an added stability challenge). Swing one leg back and forth as if you’re kicking a soccer ball. Do about 10 swings on each side.

Fire Hydrant Circles

How to do it:

On all 4 fours, make sure your core is braced and nothing moves other than the working leg. Keeping your right leg bent at 90 degrees, take it out to the side and then in a circular motion. Do 5 circles in one direction, then the opposite. Then switch to the other leg.

Leg Crossovers

This is a great dynamic warm-up exercises for opening those tight glutes, hamstrings, and IT bands.

How to do it:

Lying on your back with your arms outstretched in a “T” formation, bring your right leg across your body so that our toes meet your left hand. Return to start and repeat with left leg. Go for 10 reps total.


This exercise is opposite of the Leg Crossover in that it’s the same movement but just done face down.

How to do it:

Here, in your “T” formation face toward the floor, roll your body to the left so that your right heel comes across your body to meet your left hand. Return and repeat to other side. Go for 10 reps and you’ll feel your obliques, hip flexors, and quads open up nicely.

_MG_7679Twisting Reverse Lunge

The twisting reverse lunge will help to open up your hip flexors and tight abdominal muscles, while also challenging your balance.

How to do it:

From a standing position take a long step back with left foot, drop down into a lunge, and then twist and extend, over your right leg. Then, return to standing and repeat with the other leg/side for a total of 10 reps.

2-Step Hamstring Stretch

How to do it:

Start off in a standing position and then drop into a forward lunge. From there, take your forearm, drop it to your instep so that you are now getting a lot of upper hamstring and groin action.

Next, take your hand to other side of your foot and extend back so that your leg straightens. This targets more of the belly of the hamstring. Then, reverse this motion and come back to your original standing position or move through a series of lunge walks as you perform this lunge-to-straight leg sequence.

A Skips
This is a variation on basic skipping, except it’s your knees reaching high and not so much your body. Drive your arms backward in sync with your skip stride while driving one knee high, with that foot almost directly under your body; continue on opposite side and repeat.

Also known as karaoke, this hip opener requires some fancy footwork until you get the hang of it. Move sideways with your arms out, and cross right over left, right behind left, right over left. Repeat by starting with the left foot first: left over right, left behind right, left over right. Move in one direction for seven seconds, switch directions and repeat.

Butt kicks
Instead of running forward, get into your runner stance with your pelvis neutral. Kick your heel toward your butt by engaging your hamstring to pull up as you jog at an easy pace.
Knee huggers
Using your regular walking gait, step forward with one leg while raising your opposite knee and pulling it toward your shoulder. Stand upright, grab your shin with both hands and pull close to your chest. Repeat motion with your other leg.

High knees
Move forward with a running motion, trying to raise your knees as high as you can. Bobby McGee calls this a facilitation exercise, as it mimics running but with even more motion and intensity.

Hamstring kick-outs aka monster walks
Walk forward and kick out each leg as you take a step. When your leg kicks up, bend your upper body toward it and reach your opposite hand to your extended shin or foot.


Once I finished up my warm up I” finish off with a set of 6-8   strides. :

Run for 20 seconds or approximately 100 meters at race pace or at the pace you’re targeting in the workout. Stop, walk for 20 seconds or until your heart rate is slowed down and mostly recovered, turn around, and run 20 seconds again at race/workout pace.
Complete six-8 of these 20-second strides.
Naturally, this is as specific as a warm-up can get. Strides serve the threefold purpose of mimicking  your target race or workout pace, completing the neuromuscular priming process, and making the start of the workout or race psychologically more familiar.



Here is a link to a video of some dynamic stretches/running drills  you can do..You tube dynamic warmup


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