Dynamic Warm Up, Mobility, and Flexibility

By: Mark Watts
Director of Strength & Conditioning
Denison University

It is absolutely imperative that an athlete engages in a proper and thorough warm-up before strenuous physical activity such as speed & agility or strength training. Our warm-ups will usually consist of two or three different and consecutive segments.

Running Sessions
1.) Dynamic Warm-up –This will be a “Form Run” type session, which will include high knees, butt-kicks, etc.
2.) Dynamic Flexibility –This will consist of linear and lateral mobility drills including lunges, kicks, carioca, etc.
3.) Sprint Warm-Up –This will include sprint and agility specific drills to further simulate speed-specific skills.

Lifting Sessions
1.) Dynamic Warm-Up (General Warm-Up) –This will be a collection of in-place or ground-based mobility drills such as bodyweight squats, scorpions, leg kicks, etc.
2.) Specific Warm-up –We will have several basic specific warm-ups for our lifting sessions which include but are not limited to a barbell warm-up, plate warm-up and a dumbbell warm-up.

Specific Goals of a Dynamic Warm-Up:

Stimulate Blood Flow to Active Muscle Groups
Increase Core Temperature
Decrease Joint Viscosity
Enhance Neurological / Biomechanical Efficiency
Simulate Sport Specific Movements

There are several times we will use static stretching in our summer program. Static stretching is usually not part of our warm-up routine, especially preceding strength training. Increasing muscle and connective tissue elasticity before strength training can actually decrease force production in a muscle group. We will however use static stretching after a workout to address postural deficiencies i.e. anterior pelvic tilt, upper crosses syndrome, etc. If you feel you must stretch before a running or lifting session, please do so after the dynamic warm-up.

The times we will static stretch is:
Immediately to 2 hours after a training session
Right before going to bed
Periodically throughout a non training day
Briefly after a dynamic warm-up