How to Write a General Dynamic Warm-Up

Last week’s post was about the importance of warming up before a training or practice session. A quick review:

  • Increase core temperature
  • Unglue “sticky” joints
  • Activate nervous system
  • Prepare body for activity

Today’s video is about how to write a general dynamic warm up prior to training session. (Pardon the random pause I take about halfway through. I chalk it up to my mouth moving faster than my brain.)

Key Points:

Four main areas that I try to hit in every warm-up are: core activation, glute activation, T-spine (thoracic) mobility, and hip mobility.

If you have specific areas, i.e. tight ankles, that need either mobility or strength, you can add 1-2 drills for said area(s).

General movements such as skipping, light hops/jumps, or side shuffle are great to put at the end of a warm up to encourage blood flow, get your heart rate up a bit, and continue to ramp up your nervous system.

You want to start on the ground and work your way to standing/locomotion.

Examples of Drills

Core activation

Breathing drills are a great start to a warm up because not only do they help reset/train breathing patterns, they also activate the little-thought-of core muscles that are close to the spine. This can help prevent spinal mishaps in the weight room since those little guys are on and primed to protect.

90/90 Breathing Drill

For a little more of a challenge you can do a side plank (with deep breathing) or, if you have trouble with a full side plank, a short-levered side plank

Glute activation

Since your glutes are used in just about everything and are a prime mover in most athletic movements (squat, deadlift, sprints, jumps etc.) you want those guys firing efficiently.

Think about crushing a walnut between your cheeks as you perform the glute bridge.

Want two birds with one stone? Bird dogs are great for core and glute activation.

Hip Mobility

A lot of people have really gnarly adductors (inner thigh muscles) and Adductor Rockbacks are a great way to unglue those bad boys and loosen up your hips.


Bull Dogs are another double-dipper because they hit hip mobility (especially if you’re making decent sized circles) and glute activation from multiple angles.


T-Spine Mobility

We hunch over waaaaay too much (at work/school, driving, watching TV, surfing the interwebz…) and Bench T-Spine mobility will work on extending (un-hunching) your T-spine as well as stretch out the back of the triceps (which also get notoriously tight).

Adductor Rockbacks w/ Extension and Rotation are a two-for-one punch for hip and t-spine mobility.

Bonus drills to get all the things: Spiderman with Overhead Reach

General Movement

Skip, side shuffles, lateral hops, high knees, and butt kicks are great examples.

There you have it! It’s a pretty simple formula for creating an effective and quick warm-up. Hit main things: core and glute activation, hip and t-spine mobility, and throw in some general movements and you’re set!