Dynamic Warmup

Goals for any dynamic warmup:

  • Increase core body temperature for increased blood flow and improved muscle flexibility.
  • Dynamic movements that increase ROM and movement of the lower extremity, commonly utilized in sports.
  • Activation of hip and trunk muscles in weight bearing positions to prepare for sports.
  • Training specific.

Following is an example of our sequence of dynamic warmups. The whole routine should take no longer than 10-15 min to complete, making it easy to add on to the start of any sport. Before you do the sequence:

  • Only reach as far as you are comfortable and until you feel a slight stretch. These exercises are meant to warm you up, not contort you or produce a big stretch. Distance and speed is not important.
  • If you are injured, ask the advice of a physical therapist before commencing.

Our sample of dynamic warmup sequence:

20 yard skipping – Skip with high knees for 20 yards.

Forward overhead reach lunge 10 yards – Lunge and step forward with opposite arm reaching up 10 yards.

Backward overhead reach lunge 10 yards – Lunge and step backwards with opposite arm reaching up 10 yards.

Lateral reach lunge right and left 10 yards – Lunge to the side and reach your hands to the opposite foot until you feel a stretch on your groin or hamstring. Alternate sides and rotate your torso as you reach.

Crossover reach right and left 10 yards – Facing sideways on the track, the front leg is the leg that is stepping sideways. Cross the back leg behind you. With the back arm, reach up.

Tin man 10 yards – With knees relatively straight, kick up and reach the opposite hand towards the toe until you feel a stretch in your calf.

Spiderman 10 yards – Create a long lunge pointing knee towards the elbow. Step forward with the opposite hand and alternate knee to elbow. Only go so far as you feel a slight stretch in your hip flexors, your low back and your groin.

Inchworm 10 yards – Fold over like a ragdoll and walk hands forward until you are in a plank. Arch your back up, belly to the ground. Slowly, reverse your spine and walk your toes towards your hands. Repeat.

Carioca 10 yards and 5 yard run out – Jump sideways with back foot threading behind you and then in front of you. Sprint out after 10 yards. Switch direction.

Back pedal 10 yards and 5 yard run out – In a stable and partial squat, run backwards then when you reach the 10 yard mark, spin around with control and sprint out. Tense your core as you start to sprint.

Shuffling right and left 10 yards and 5 yard run out – In a stable and partial squat, shuffle sideways and sprintout after reaching the 10 yard mark. Tense your core before sprinting out.

Significance of Dynamic Warmup:

  • Warm-ups help with neuromuscular activation and prevents injuries. In a study by LaBella et al, there was a 56% decrease in injuries in athletes compared to a control group with no dynamic warmup.
  • Warm-ups and cardiovascular exercise help significantly increase joint range of motion and decrease muscle stiffness in preparation for a sport. Compared with foam rolling, results are far superior with dynamic warmups.


LaBella et al. Effect of Neuromuscular Warm-up on Injuries in Female Soccer & Basketball Athletes in Urban Public Schools. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Med. 165 (11), Nov 2011.

Morales-Artacho et al. Effects of warm-up on hamstring muscles stiffness: cycling vs foam rolling. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 2017 Jan 6. doi: 10.1111/sms.12832

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Alice Holland, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Director at Stride Strong Physical Therapy
Alice earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from USC in 2007, and have practiced Physical Therapy for 12+ years in the Outpatient Orthopedic Setting. Certified in ASTYM, she also has been a featured expert on Physical Therapy on numerous publications including health.com, healthline.com and yahoo.com.
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Latest posts by Alice Holland, DPT

Ana Lucia Pinheiro
Ana Lucia Pinheiro
02:18 20 Oct 17
This place is amazing. I am so happy I found Stride Strong PT. Alice pays attention to all of the details, she watches every single move I make, my posture, and the way I move through every exercise. She is very knowledgeable, she was able to pin-point the problems in my back and she has a plan to help me become stronger where I need. The place is brand new, huge, and has nice exercise machines. I tried a few physical therapists in the area, and Alice is TOP, second to none, and I feel super lucky to have found her. Highly recommended!!
Prashant Gupta
Prashant Gupta
01:00 02 Oct 17
Dr. Alice at Stride Strong is one of the best PTs I have come across. Her attention to detail and assessment of the root cause of injury is very good. She is excellent in evaluating pain patterns and giving a training schedule for a rehab & injury prevention, she is extremely knowledgeable. I would strongly recommend Stride Strong to anyone looking for PT. It is easily the best PT clinics in Hillsboro area.
steven zollin
steven zollin
20:57 14 Sep 17
Highly recommend Stride Strong Physical Therapy , Alice showed me proper form to assist in recovery with my shoulder and is very knowledgeable.
Lindsay Nied
Lindsay Nied
23:33 18 Dec 17
I recently had a massage from Joel at the Hillsboro location. He was able to work on an ongoing issue I have been experiencing with my back after a sports injury, and I left feeling so much better. The whole facility looked incredible, and everyone I met was friendly and welcoming. I would highly recommend Stride Strong for massage and physical therapy.
JoAnn Hatch
JoAnn Hatch
08:20 08 Nov 17
Dr. Sydney is by far the absolute best physical therapist I've worked with ever! Her expertise in designing highly effective and efficient exercise plans is beyond compare. I feel so much better as my strength and function increases. She comes up with the most brilliant and fun ideas to motivate. To my delight she even offered to come to my home in Vancouver and work with me on my own equipment including a Stott Pilates Reformer. Talk about going above and beyond! Couldn't be more grateful I found her!!!
Clare Perry
Clare Perry
21:58 23 Oct 17
A full hour of a dedicated PT professional's time without aides or techs? That's just one of the things that sets this clinic apart from others. Competent, professional, and amiable, Dr. Alice Holland and her team are the best in the area. While I generally see them at the Cedar Mill Clinic on Cornell, situational constraints took me to their new Hillsboro clinic today near Intel Jones Farm. Beautifully furnished, spacious with easy parking and access. May you continue to grow and thrive, Stride Strong!
Joyce Heideman
Joyce Heideman
08:28 11 May 18
After foot surgery I went to Stride Strong for therapy with Alice Holland. She helped me reach my full mobility again by continuously introducing new and challenging exercises. The entire staff is friendly and professional. They are always on time and do not rush. I look forward to doing 1/2 marathons again and riding my recumbent trike. Thank you Stride Strong for your care and high level of expertise.
Suad Daher
Suad Daher
20:48 28 Feb 18
The best physical therapy ever. Both JP and Sydney were a great PT, they helped me understand how I can help treat my injury and how it may have caused. And also they informed about so many techniques that I can use to help my injuries or any other injuries I get in the near future. They are both friendly and nice to talk too, and verbunformative. And there is also Krystal, she is the best front desk receptionist ever, she is nice and friendly and can easily manage your schedule based on the patients comfort if they want to schedule or not. She can help and she replies fast to any patients email. And she is easy to talk to. Thank you Stride Strong Physical Therapy.
Amanda O'Rourke
Amanda O'Rourke
21:38 15 Jun 18
In just a month I've seen great progress! I've been incorporating the exercises taught to me into my daily workout routine. Im very happy with my continued results.
Albert Szal
Albert Szal
23:43 10 Jun 18
Mary Szal here: I've had three sessions with Brittany at the Hillsboro location. I can say that she has been the most effective and instructive physical therapist I've ever experienced. Her personality, energy, knowledge and results are top notch.
Osa Phiangdae
Osa Phiangdae
00:05 22 Mar 18
Awesome place for PT. Hillsboro location has plenty of parking and very spacious. I had the pleasure to work mostly with Dr. Alice Holland and JP. I came in with a shoulder injury and thank goodness they understood what I was going through. They are the best of what they do, I would recommend Stride Strong to anyone who needs PT.
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