Dynamic Warm Up Exercises

Hi everyone!

This morning before breakfast I had a little pep in my step, so I hopped on the elliptical for a quick inteval sesh. I plugged in this playlist, and jammed out, following the quick/slow song pace to guide my intervals, and hopped off 45 minutes later.


The TV in the gym room doesn’t work right now, so this helped the time pass by quicklySmile

Post-elliptical-egg protein pancake:


Now let’s talk about what happened before my elliptical workout this morning.

Nooo, not sleeping in a bit Winking smile I’m talking about my warm up! Specifically, a dynamic warm up.

warm up collage

Since the elliptical is low impact and not too complex in regards to movement, I didn’t do too much in addition to a little warm up on the elliptical, but I did do a bit.

-Body weight squats (upper right hand corner)

-Arm circles (top middle)

-Glute pulls (left middle)

My elliptical has handles for involving the upper body, so I did 3 dynamic warm up exercises total – two to warm up my lower body and core, and one for my upper body, + 5 minutes light elliptical

I talk more about dynamic warm ups and why they’re important here (plus a video!) but I wanted to touch on it again.

Dynamic warm ups are very important for preparing the body to workout for several reasons:

-warm up core temperature

-loosens up muscles surrounding areas to be worked

-increase range of motion

Think about it! If you’re going to be doing some plyo work or maybe a full body workout, simply warming up by walking on the treadmill for 5 minutes wouldn’t prepare your body for that workout very well, right? It’d prepare your body for walking briskly or going forward in a motion where your legs are fairly straight! Sure, it might warm up your core temperature a bit, but it wouldn’t warm up all or most of the muscles being used during the workout. A dynamic warm up does just that!

Here are some of my favorite dynamic warm up exercises. I explain the numbering system below.

warm up collage


Going around clockwise:

  • Body weight squats:with feet hip width apart, pointing forward, perform a basic squat by pushing hips back and bending the knees, and lowering toward the ground to just before the thighs meet parallel with the ground. Press back up.
  • Arm circles: gently outstretch arms and circle them toward the back. Do 10 circles, then circle toward the front.
  • Butt kickers: Move forward in a running motion, emphasize hamstring flex and quad stretch by reaching the heel toward the glutes when kicking. Run about 20 feet, and then return.
  • Knee highs: Move forward in a running motion, this time bringing the knees up as high as you can. Run about 20 feet, and return.
  • Quad pulls: In a standing position, take a step forward with your left foot, grabbing your right foot behind you, tipping forward as you give it a tug. Step forward with the right, and repeat on the left.
  • In worms: From a standing position, walk your hands out into a plank. Hold for 1 second, then take two big steps toward your hands, and stand up. Repeat 4 times forward, then repeat backward.
  • Glute pulls: In a standing position, take a step forward with your left leg, and bring your right knee to chest. Give it a hug, getting a stretch in the right glute. Switch legs and repeat.

I also color-coded each of these for various workouts. If the color in the picture corresponds with the workout below, then it will help to warm the body up for that area:


-Quads/hip flexors


-Upper body

For example, I did three of the five exercises for low impact cardio for my elliptical workout!

Although it’s helpful to do a dynamic warm up for cardio, it’s nearly imperative for strength training! It helps loosen up the muscles and joints that are going to be impacted, making us less prone to injury.

Now if I could just work on that cool down/stretching thing after every workout Winking smile

With that, it’s time to train a client! Have a great Wednesday, friends Open-mouthed smile

What do you usually do for a warm up, and how long does it last?

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  1. I am pretty bad at warming up…bad I know!! I usually jump on the treadmill for 5 minutes and call it done.

  2. Very interesting I never thought of warm-ups like that. Lately I have been doing about 15 minutes of cardio of warm up before my strength exercises, but your point that you need more dynamic movements make sense. I will have to try a few of these moves as part as my warm up!

  3. I do a lot of this stuff, but I also jump rope and jumping jacks (personal love probably from my inner child) for more intense workouts.

  4. I am terrible at warming up but these look easy and fast to do. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hahaha! Great minds think alike. Just before chilling with a bit of blog reading, I had put in post for dynamic warm ups on my “blog calendar” for sometime the next couple of weeks.

  6. LOVE dynamic warmups! Thanks for the tips

  7. this is SO good Paige. you should be proud of this post. when I wasn’t sure what to do for warm ups a year or two ago I would have loved to get my hands on this post! you did a wonderful job babe :)

    I have been doing dynamic warm ups before each training session of mine now. i never used to, but now I do faithfully. they are usually 5 – 10 minutes. on leg days I do more movements because my legs sometimes feel pretty tight.

    again! great post :)


  8. Thanks for this dynamic warmup! I definitely try to warmup at least 5 minutes, but sometimes I’m “lazy”, and completely skip it and get straight to the workout or just run for 5 minutes, even though I know how important it is!

  9. This is great! I keep hearing I need to warm up but not do static stretches, so thanks for the ideas!

  10. I am horrible when it comes to warming up before a run. However, I definitely do dynamic stretching before any of my other routines. Because that’s how Jillian taught me. 😉 lol

  11. Love this! I always want to warm up, but burn calories at the same time!

  12. I’ve always believed in dynamic stretching as opposed to static stretching…much better!


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