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The 10 Best Dynamic Stretches You’ll Want To Incorporate Now

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*Updated 10/14/22

As a personal trainer, I often get asked about the best way to warm up before working out. I am a huge proponent of active movements or dynamic warm-ups, which means getting your body moving while activating all major muscle groups.

Today I will review ten dynamic stretches you can do before your workouts. These stretches are a great way to activate your muscles and encourage blood flow! A strong dynamic stretching routine like the one I am sharing today will reduce the risk of injury and should significantly improve your overall workout. As I like to say when in doubt, stretch it out.

Photo of Andie in matching olive green sports bra and leggings doing a lunge and twist one of 10 awesome dynamic stretches to help you warm up your body properly
A proper warm-up is crucial to avoid injury and to warm up your body for exercise.

Before we dive into today’s fantastic dynamic stretches, I will answer a few of the most commonly asked questions I get asked when it comes to stretching.

Question: What Are The Benefits of Dynamic Stretches?

Your key muscles get warmed up and prepped for your workout.

It improves your range of motion within your joints, helping to facilitate a full range of motion while working out.

They help improve your body awareness. Pay attention while stretching to see if there are any imbalances or “hurts” you want to be aware of before starting your workout.

Dynamic stretching helps loosen up your muscles and improve overall flexibility.

Warming the muscles to their working core temperature by stretching them will improve their function.

Question: What Is The Difference Between Static and Dynamic Stretches?

  • Dynamic stretching is much
  • better than static stretching because it gets your entire body loose and ready to perform optimally since you move your body and are active throughout the stretching routine.
    Static or passive stretching is when you hold a stretch for longer. Typically static stretches are best for after a workout. They help to lengthen muscles that have become compacted while working out. If you want examples of static stretches, most yoga or muscle holds are great examples.

  • The most significant difference between static and dynamic stretching is when they should be performed. Dynamic or active stretching should be done before a workout. And static stretching is best after a workout to lengthen muscles and release any tension built up during your activity.
  • I recommend both types of stretching as part of your workout routine. 3-5 minutes of dynamic stretching before working out and 3-5 minutes of static stretching after your training sessions.

    Legal Jargon: Before starting any exercise program, please consult with a physician.

    Let’s Dive Into These Awesome Examples of Dynamic Stretches!

    Bum or Butt Kicks - great dynamic stretch for warming up your glutes.
    A good ole fashioned bum kick

    Exercise #1 Bum Kicks or Butt Kicks

    1. Start Position: Start with both feet on the ground should shoulder-width apart.
    2. Next, touch the heel of your left foot to your butt! Be sure to alternate your feet. This quick movement is designed to get your heart rate up.
    3. Number of Reps: 20-30 seconds – You’ll complete three rounds.
    High Knees a fantastic way to warm up your entire body.
    Me trying to keep a straight face.

    Exercise #2 High Knees

    1. Starting Position: Start standing with both feet on the ground should be shoulder-width apart.
    2. Next, also similar to a jog, but you want to raise your knee as high as possible—alternate knees (again, this is a quick movement)
    3. Number of Reps: 20-30 seconds – You’ll complete three rounds.
    A Knee Hug is a fantastic active dynamic stretch
    I am just smiling because I am not falling over.

    Exercise #3 Knee Hugs

    1. Starting Position: Start standing with both feet on the ground should be shoulder-width apart.
    2. Next, pull your knee to your chest as high as possible and hold for about 3 seconds. Switch knees and repeat
    3. Number of Reps: 20-30 seconds – You’ll complete three rounds.
    A toe tuck is a fantastic dynamic stretch!
    This is a classic stretch for a reason.

    Exercise #4 Toe Tucks

    1. Starting Position: Start in a standing position with both feet on the ground should be width apart.
    2. Next, Stretch out your quad by bending your left leg and pulling your toe to your butt. Hold for 3 seconds and switch to your right leg.
    3. Number of Reps: 20-30 seconds – You’ll complete three rounds.
    Side lunge always a fantastic move for stretching your inner thighs and working your outer saddle bags.
    I was thinking about something in this shot, not sure what? Maybe the tasty treats I’ll eat when I am done.

    Exercise #5 Side Lunge

    1. Starting Position: Start standing with both feet on the ground should shoulder-width apart.
    2. Next, Step your leg out to the left side into a lunge position. Go down as far as you’re able while keeping the heel of your foot on the ground. Switch legs and repeat
    3. Number of Reps: 20-30 seconds – You’ll complete three rounds.
    A lunge and twist is a another one of the many fantastic dynamic stretches
    Lunge and twist!

    Exercise #6 Front Lunge With a Torso Twist

    1. Starting Position: Start standing with both feet on the ground should be shoulder-width apart.
    2. Next, Step your leg to the front of your mat, lowering into a forward lunge position. While holding the lunge, twist your torso in the opposite direction. Switch legs and repeat
    3. Number of Reps: 20-30 seconds – You’ll complete three rounds.
    Walkout to plank position. Often called the inch worm is a great stretch for your entire body
    I will go on record as saying this is my favorite stretch!

    Exercise #7 Walkout

    1. Starting Position: Start standing with both feet on the ground should shoulder-width apart.
    2. Next, fold over until your hands are touching the mat, slowly walk your body out until you are in a high plank position, and then walk back to your feet.
    3. Number of Reps: 20-30 seconds – You’ll complete three rounds.
    Cobra yoga stretch for your back
    This one feels soooo good on your back!

    Exercise #8 Cobra

    1. Starting Position: Start in a high plank or pushup position.
    2. Next, Keep your hands on the floor, lower your body down the mat, and slowly move forward, arching your back and looking up, giving your abs a great stretch.
    3. Number of Reps: 20-30 seconds – You’ll complete three rounds.
    Toe Touches are one of many effective dynamic stretches
    Channel your inner cheerleader! Goooo YOU!?

    Exercise #9 Leg Swings /Toe Touches/ Leg Kicks – This move has several names but is excellent for warming up your hip flexors

    1. Starting Position: Start in a standing position with both feet on the ground should width apart.
    2. Next, Raise your left leg high in the air, and touch your left leg with your right hand—alternate the opposite hand with the opposite foot. 
    3. Number of Reps: 20-30 seconds – You’ll complete three rounds.
    Jump Squats are crazy effective exercise to use in any dynamic stretches routine.
    Look at me getting some air!

    Exercise #10 Jump Squats

    1. Starting Position: Start in a standing position with both feet on the ground should width apart.
    2. Next, lower down until you are in a low squat position and jump to a vertical jump.
    3. Number of Reps: 20-30 seconds – You’ll complete three rounds.

    You can do just a few of these moves or work through the entire routine several times, doing each move for 20-30 seconds with a 10-second rest. This warm-up may be paired with any exercise, as an avid none stretcher for most of my life. I can tell you firsthand that stretching does make a difference. Sometimes just warming up on the treadmill for a brisk 3-5 minute walk will do the trick. So yes, dynamic stretching is awesome, and I will always recommend spending a few minutes before working out, to warm up. You can easily move your body walking or on the elliptical for a bit of warm-up.

    Final note – Always pay attention to proper form; the overarching goal of this post is to HELP your body avoid injury! So paying attention to form is always my first bit of advice. I have included a video demonstration of each movement. (I’m a visual learner, and a video is always a big help for me).

    For more dynamic stretches, check out this great post by Greatist

    You got this! Always remember I’m rooting for you!

    Much Love,

    Andie Thueson Logo

    For more at-home exercise routines, check out these posts!

    6 Comments

    1. Matt Taylor says:

      I will admit, I am horrible at stretching, haha. In high school, I stretched for Track, but I don’t stretch much at all anymore, and I play basketball twice a week. Definitely need to start! These are great stretches to do!

    2. Allyson Zea says:

      I am going to incorporate these into the cooldown/stretch at my zumba class! Thanks for these easy tips! Your form looks perfect!

    3. This is really helpful!! I just tried it and it is so awesome! Thanks!

    4. These are such helpful tips! I’m always so tight so I will definitely be implementing these.

    5. Journa Liz Ramirez says:

      This is what I need! These are highly recommended dynamic stretches. Thanks Andie for the helpful tips!

    6. 5 stars
      I am so glad that I found this!! Each tip was so helpful and I started doing them TODAY!

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