Full-Body Dynamic Warmup

Get your body ready

The best way to get ready for your workout or sport is to incorporate a dynamic warmup.  The purpose of taking a few minutes beforehand is to stimulate the nervous system, increase body temperature, work on range of motion, flexibility and address any limitations. Getting your joints, muscles and ligaments ready to start taking load and speed is necessary for optimal performance and will also help decrease your risk of injury. Depending on your sport, you may want to do a few more sport-specific drills before beginning. The video below is designed to be a flowing, 5-mintue routine for all over-head throwing or hitting athletes, as well as anyone in the gym needing to get ready for some weight-lifting. It targets key shoulder stabilizers, your core as well and works on over-all range and and muscle flexibility.

Goals of a dynamic warmup

  • Spinal mobility- working the thoracic spine with extension and rotation is key to maintain proper shoulder health and allowing the shoulder joint to get into full range of motion
  • Scapular Stabilization- It’s important to practice activation and sequencing of these muscles (like the Serratus Anterior)  for proper shoulder joint alignment and force production.
  • Core activation- Working on these muscles to maintain your spinal health and help you feel what
  • Practice diaphragmatic breathing- Core activation is vital and can’t be fully achieved unless you have good breathing mechanics with your lower ribs moving up and out upon inhalation, and down and in upon exhalation. Always practice proper breathing with your routine. Read more here.
  • Get sweaty! – You heart rate should be up, and ideally you would do a few minutes of running, jumping, or squatting depending on what you are getting ready for.



American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2014), ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Prescription, 9th Edition. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA. p. 456.

Boyle, Micheal. New Functional Training for Sports. second edition. Human Kinetics. Campaign , IL. 2016.

Cone, John R,M.S., C.S.C.S. (2007). Warming up for intermittent endurance sports. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 29(6), 70-77.

Faigenbaum, A., & McFarland,James E.,,Jr. (2007). Guidelines for implementing a dynamic warm-up for physical education. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 78(3), 25-28.

Faries, M. D., & Greenwood, M. (2007). Core training: Stabilizing the confusion. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 29(2), 10-25.

Reed, K.R. Ford, G.D. Myer, The effects of isolated and integrated core stability training on athletic performance measures, Sports Med, Vol. 42, Iss. 8, 2012, 697-706

Starrett, Kelly.  Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance. Victory Belt Publishing. 2015.

Taylor, K., Sheppard, J. M., Lee, H., & Plummer, N. (2009). Negative effect of static stretching restored when combined with a sport specific warm-up component. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 12(6), 657-61.



Published by Blake Russell

Olympian, physical therapist, mom

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