Begin Your Routine With Dynamic Warm-Ups!

Man Rotates Torso

The art of warming up has come a long way. Gone are the days of simply starting with a couple of light sets of your first exercise. As the concepts of training continue to evolve, the approach to warming up has also evolved. Dynamic warm-ups are currently the most effective way to prepare for your upcoming workout. Let’s take a look at what dynamic warm-ups are and how they can benefit you. I will also include an example dynamic warm-up routine to get you started. Let’s dive right in!

What Are Dynamic Warm-Ups?

A dynamic warm-up can be defined as a series of movements that are designed to activate your nervous system, raise your body temperature, increase your range of motion, prepare your joints, and prepare your muscles for your training session.

What Are The Benefits Of Dynamic Warm-Ups?

A dynamic warm-up provides the following benefits:

Raises Your Heart Rate

It should go without saying that increasing your heart rate is one of the most important benefits of your warmup. This increases the body temperature of all the physiological systems in the body and helps prepare you for your workout. In addition, the increased core temperature gets your muscles, joints, and connective tissues ready for your workout.

Improves Your Range of Motion

Dynamic warm-ups target mobility, thereby enhancing the range of motion needed for the proper execution of every exercise in your routine. 

Enhances Blood Flow To Your Working Muscles

When we exercise, blood flow is shunted from the intestines and stomach and pumped toward the working muscles, lungs, heart, and brain to enhance muscular performance. By adding a dynamic warm-up you can ensure that oxygen-rich blood is being delivered to your muscles at the onset of training.

Reduces The Risk Of Injury

A dynamic warmup improves muscle elasticity. This helps you be more resistant to injury.

Mentally Prepares You For Your Workout 

Your mind is as much a part of your training session as your muscles. Some would say it’s even more. The mind-muscle connection is one of the keys to a great workout. Your mental drive is another. Even when your mind wants to give up, your body can probably keep going. You have to mentally push to get the most out of your training. A dynamic warm-up helps you get mentally prepared to power through a tough training session.

Improves Overall Performance

A dynamic warm-up gradually elevates your heart rate, increasing body temperature, and allowing enough oxygen to be available for use by the muscles as you work out. This improves your overall workout performance.

Decreases Soreness

One of the functions of proper recovery is to allow sore muscles to heal. If you still have sore muscles from your last workout, you should not work those muscles in your upcoming workout. While it’s beyond the scope of this article, I would suggest reviewing your workout plan and making sure you are allowing enough recovery time. Sore muscles can negatively impact your ability to train hard. A dynamic warm-up increases blood flow, which helps decrease soreness.

Dynamic Warm-Up Example Routine

This is a general full-body dynamic warm-up routine. It can be used by anyone working out with weights in any capacity, including my recent over-40 powerbuilding routine. You don’t have to be using a full-body routine to use this warm-up. This entire routine should only take approximately 10 minutes.

Jump Rope x 20

If you are not used to these, take your time as you build coordination.

Jumping Jacks x 20

Knee Hugs x 10

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Maintain a tight core throughout. 

Bring your left knee up towards your chest. 

Grabbing your left knee, pull it in close to your chest. 

Hold this stretch for 20 to 40 seconds. 

Slowly lower your left leg to the ground and repeat on the other side.

Knee Pulls x 10 per side

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Maintain a tight core throughout. 

Lift your left leg, and bend at the knee with your foot pulled up behind you. 

Grab your left foot and pull it up towards your back. 

Hold for 3 seconds. 

While doing this, extend your right arm straight above your head.  

Slowly lower your left leg to the ground and repeat on the other side.

Kneeling Hip Circles x 5 per side

Start on your hands and knees. 

Keep your core tight. 

Lift your left leg and, keeping your knee bent, rotate your leg in a tight circle. 

Lower your left leg to the ground and repeat on the other side.

Bodyweight Squats x 15

Keep your back straight and perform these slowly. 

Go as low as you would when performing squats.

Bent Torso Twists x 10

Bent over at the waist to an almost parallel position with your arms straight

Twist your torso back and forth while also swinging your arms

Lateral Reaches x 5

Plant your feet firmly into the ground.

Squeeze your legs, glutes, and abdominals.

Extend one arm straight up and lean to one side.

With each bend, exhale and lean as far as you comfortably can.

Upper Back Rotation x 8 per side

Start on your hands and knees.

Place your left hand behind your head

Bring your elbow on the left arm down and in toward your right arm.

Then rotate your left elbow up toward the ceiling while also turning your head

Keep your lower back and stomach tight and stable

Shoulder Twists x 10

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart

Hold your arms straight out from your sides at shoulder height.

Start with your arms in a palm-up position

Rotate to a palm-down position

Shoulder Circles x 10

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart

Let your arms hang naturally at your sides

Rotate both arms in a circular motion

Shoulder Back & Front Raise x 10

Start with a wide grip near each end of a broomstick.

Lift the broomstick up and over your head while keeping your arms straight

Bring the broomstick as far back as you can while keeping your arms straight.

If you can, go all the way down so that the broomstick touches your lower back.

However, do not try to force your arms back farther than they can go.

Perform this movement slowly and under control.

Forearm & Grip Stretch x 5

Start in a kneeling position

Put your hands on the floor in front of your knees about shoulder-width apart.

Keep your knees together, and lift up on your toes.

Elbows straight and push your shoulders down away from your ears.

Lean your body forward, getting a good stretch in the forearms.

Hold for 3-4 seconds and return to the start position.

Wrist Stretch x 5

The movement is the same as above except your palms are facing up.

Do not put much pressure on your wrists, you’re looking for a light stretch.

Once finished, you can roll your wrists if needed to help relieve tension.

Target Your Warm-Up To Your Workout

It should be noted that there are numerous routines you can use to warm up. One important point is that while a general warmup like the one presented makes sense, you should do movement-specific warmups. This is especially true if you plan to lift heavy. By specifically doing movement-specific lifts, you will enhance the joints and connective tissue that will be affected by the workout to come. 


If you do not currently perform a warm-up before lifting, you should consider starting. You need to think long-term. Warming up can support joint health, improve performance, and help prevent injuries. If you think you are saving time by not warming up, imagine how much time you will save if an injury sidelines you for several weeks or months. In this article, I have provided a basic general warmup that you can use to get started. Yet that’s just the beginning. Don’t hesitate to do your research on this subject. The knowledge you can gain can help you design a dynamic warmup routine specifically suited to your personal needs. Train hard!

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