A Guide to Dynamic Warmups from Sport & Spine Physical Therapy

by | Apr 29, 2024

As athletes, we often hear about the importance of warming up before diving into our workouts or activities. However, not all warm-ups are created equal. Dynamic warm-ups have gained popularity for their ability to prepare the body for movement while also enhancing performance and reducing the risk of injury. At Sport & Spine Physical Therapy, we believe in the power of dynamic warm-ups, and we’re excited to share some of our favorite exercises to get you primed and ready for action.

  1. Monster Kicks (Hamstrings): Start by standing tall and kicking each leg up towards your chest, focusing on stretching your hamstrings with each kick.
  2. Ankle Grabs (Quads/Hip Flexors): While standing, bend one knee and grab the ankle behind you, pulling it towards your glutes to stretch the quadriceps and hip flexors.
  3. Side to Side Lunges (Groin): Take wide steps to the side, bending one knee while keeping the other leg straight. Alternate sides to stretch the groin muscles.
  4. Ground Sweeps (Hips, Back, Groin): Begin in a standing position and hinge at the hips, reaching down towards the ground with one hand while sweeping it across the body. Alternate sides to stretch the hips, back, and groin.
  5. Walking Lunge with Trunk Rotation and Overhead Reach (Full Body): Perform walking lunges while rotating your trunk and reaching overhead with each step, engaging the entire body in dynamic movement.
  6. Hurdle Steps Forward/Backward: Mimic the motion of stepping over a hurdle, alternating legs as you move forward and backward to improve agility and coordination.
  7. Shoulder Flys (Shoulder Girdle): With fingers on temples and elbows together, open the elbows out to the sides, then bring them back together. This exercise helps warm up the shoulder girdle and improve range of motion.
  8. Arm Circles Forward/Backward (Shoulder Girdle): Stand with arms extended to the sides and make circular motions with your arms, both forward and backward, to loosen up the shoulder girdle and improve circulation.
  9. Overhead Reach with Interlocked Fingers (Hands, Wrists, Lats, Thoracic Spine): Reach overhead and interlock your fingers, then stretch to one side and then the other to mobilize the hands, wrists, lats, and thoracic spine.
  10. Hands on Small of Back Reach Up with Back Extension (Shoulders and Lumbar Spine): Place your hands on the small of your back and gently push your hips forward while arching your back, stretching the shoulders and lumbar spine.
  11. Posterior Shoulder Stretching: Bring one arm across your body and use the opposite hand to gently pull it closer to your chest, stretching the posterior shoulder.
  12. Triceps Stretching: Reach one arm overhead and bend at the elbow, placing your hand behind your neck. Use your other hand to gently push on the elbow, stretching the triceps.

Remember, dynamic warm-ups are not only about preparing your muscles for activity but also about priming your nervous system and enhancing your overall performance. Incorporating these dynamic exercises into your pre-workout routine can help you move more efficiently, reduce the risk of injury, and ultimately, get the most out of your training sessions. So, lace up those shoes, get moving, and feel the difference in your performance with dynamic warm-ups from Sport & Spine Physical Therapy.