Active Dynamic Warm-Up

The dynamic warm-up is the first component to a well-designed athletic development/strength and conditioning program. This warm-up includes functional based activities, using sport-specific motions which prepares, or activates, the dynamic stabilizers (muscles) of the body for activity. Other benefits of the dynamic warm-up include: Raising core body temperature, increasing blood flow to muscles, and improving flexibility, balance and coordination.

Performing the warm-up correctly prepares the athlete for success while decreasing the potential risk for injury. Static stretching, once thought of as the best form of warm-up, has actually been shown to decrease strength and performance during activities if completed prior to competition. Athletes can still benefit from static stretching; however, it should be completed directly after the workouts and not before.

Below is a sample dynamic warm-up:
*Note that dynamic warm-ups should take approximately 10 minutes to complete and each movement should be completed at a distance of approximately 10 yards. 5 minutes of cardio (Jump rope, Bike, Jog, Jumping Jacks, Etc.) to increase heart rate should be performed prior to the warm-up.

Slower dynamic movements (quality movement patterns stressed as opposed to speed)

  • Knee Hug/Opposite Heel Raise
  • Inchworm
  • Knee Cradle
  • Russian Kicks
  • Walking Quad Stretch
  • Side Lunge and Drag

Progress to faster dynamic movements (emphasis should be on speed but keep good form)

  • Forward/Backward Lunge/with Twist
  • Butt Kickers
  • High Knees
  • Carioca
  • Skips
  • Bounding
  • Broad Jumps

**The above movements are mostly related to the lower extremity. For the upper extremity, add arm circles, bear hugs, scarecrows, etc.

For more information or to get a copy of the WIPP (Warm Up for Injury Prevention) handout, please email Dave Stoklosa at

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