6 Dynamic Warm Up Workouts for Runners


It’s another edition of Monthly Workouts for Runners BY Runners. Here’s the previous month’s workouts if you missed them:

Stuck Inside Workouts for Runners

Two-a-Day Workouts for Runners

Upper Body Workouts for Runners

Injury Prevention Exercises for Runners

Hill Workouts for Runners

Speed Workouts for Runners

Core Workouts for Runners

This month the focus is on a Dynamic Warm Up.

We all know that static stretching prior to exercise does not help you one bit. In fact, it hurts you. So if you are still doing static stretching before your run – stop.

For years, my warm up prior to a run was all over the place. Truthfully, a lot of the time, I’d skip a warm up entirely. Maybe I’d start out with walking 5 minutes or run at a slower pace than normal, but that was about it. That is until, Tina showed us her Dynamic Warm Up routine at Rise.Run.Retreat last year. It’s been a game changer ever since.

So why should you do a dynamic warm up?

First off, you need to get your body ready for exercise. After sleeping all night long or sitting all day long at work, you put your body into shock when you immediately step out the door and begin to run. Your body needs to warm up by slowly increasing your heart rate and breathing rate. In doing so, you are lubricating your joints which will give you better range of motion and better elasticity in tendons and ligaments. Tons of research supports that a dynamic warm up benefits the body AND can make you a faster runner.

So the question is – Why are you NOT doing a dynamic warm up?

FYI – While I am a certified RRCA Running Coach, I am not your coach. Listen to your body and it’s limitations. Please check with your physician if you are new to exercise or have any questions regarding your health and exercise.


Standing Hurdler – Stand while holding onto a wall or pole for balance. Lift your leg so your thigh is parallel to the ground  and make a circular motion with your knee like you’re moving your thigh over a hurdle. Do 10 to the front, 10 in reverse motion to the back, before switching to the other leg.

Walking Lunges w/ Trunk Rotation – Step forward with right leg, dip down with your left knee until it almost touches the ground and your front thigh is parallel to the floor. From here, lean forward slightly at your hips. Keep the abs braced as you rotate your torso to the left. Drive your right heel into the ground and push yourself back up to standing while stepping forward. Repeat on opposite leg.

Lateral Lunge – Stand tall with feet hip width apart. Step to the right, then begin to bend your right knee towards your toes while pushing your hips back, while left leg straightens. Reach for your right foot with your left hand. Push off with your right foot to return to starting position.

Front Leg Swing – Standing in front of a wall or pole for balance, swing your right leg forward and back, while keeping leg straight (don’t lock knee), to about hip level.

Side Leg Swing – Just like the front leg swing except swing your leg parallel to the side so your foot comes up to about hip level. Leg stays straight without locking the knee.

Butt Kicks – Do just like it says – kick your butt! Keeping the arms at the sides, slowly kick one foot and then the other to the butt.

I’d like to say that I do a full, lengthy warm up prior to every run but in reality, sometimes it’s a few minutes of leg swings and butt kicks. Something is better than nothing in my mind!

And here are even more Dynamic Workouts from 5 4 of my running friends. (Sarah is taking this month off since she’s knee deep in Rise.Run.Retreat prep this week).

Pin away so you have a stash of workouts on hand whenever you need it.

Nellie has you covered with a variety of squats, lunges, kicks and taps to fire up the glutes and hamstrings.


Carly wants you to hug and drive your knee. And then kick your butt.


Don’t forget to warm up the upper body too. Love that Laura included arm circles.

dynamic-warm-up-this-runners-recipesAnd Allie has a confession to make. 🙂

Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and the Coaches’ Corner.

Do you do a Dynamic Warm Up before your run?


16 comments on “6 Dynamic Warm Up Workouts for Runners

  1. Why is it that I tell clients ALL THE TIME to warm up and cool down…and yet I struggle to make myself do it 🙂 I guess that’s just my mom brain tellign me to hurry hurry hurry! But I love these warm ups and will do my best to incorporate these maybe that will help 🙂 me take the time.
    Sarah recently posted..At Home Boot CampMy Profile

  2. ahhh Im so so so sarah (points above) too.
    when I was a trainer.
    I need to try SOMETHING as I get ready and train for the oakland running festival marathon….

  3. These are awesome! I do a lot of similar exercises in my warm ups with my strength training group- I like some of these variations a lot and will probably make my group do one tonight! Thanks for sharing and linking up 🙂

  4. I include hurdles as part of the MYTRL routine I do for strength training – I should add them in before a run as well! Love this months theme because it’s a good reminder for me not to get lazy about warming up, especially as the temperatures drop.

  5. Guilty…

    I teach dynamic warm-ups to my clients. And my coach gives them to me on my training plan. Do I do them? Meh… does sometimes count?

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