How to Warm-Up: The Best Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises

Most people like to get to the gym and dive into their workout so they can continue on with their day – but that's a huge mistake. Warming up before a workout is a crucial component of any training routine. It prepares your body for the hard work it's about to do, like lifting heavy weights! It also reduces your risk of injury, improves range of motion, and overall, it helps you perform better.

Having a good warm-up routine will make a huge difference in your training, so take the extra 5-10 minutes to do it. However, despite what many may think, static stretching isn't the best way to warm up! To help you warm up properly, we're going to break down static vs dynamic stretches, plus give you a list of the best warm-up exercises that prepare your entire body!

Static vs Dynamic Stretching

Everyone is pretty familiar with static stretching, the traditional form of stretching where you hold your body in a certain stretch and maintain it for a short period of time. An example of this would be reaching your toes or doing a hamstring stretch. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, involves actual movement. These exercises mimic the similar movements you'll do while you work out, like bodyweight squats, lunges, and leg swings.

It was once believed that this was the best way to warm up was to perform static stretches, but recent research says otherwise. Research shows that this form of stretching temporarily decreases the ability of a muscle to produce force, thus placing lifters at a greater risk of injury. While dynamic stretching has been shown to increase the muscle's ability to produce force due to the fact that the exercises help prep the muscle by making them move through the entire range of motion of an exercise.

Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that you should never perform static stretches, there is a time and place for them – after your workout as a part of your cool-down routine! This means that your warm-up should primarily consist of dynamic exercises.

Best Warm-Up Exercises

Fortunately, you don't need to spend an endless amount of time stretching. You can easily perform a good dynamic stretching routine in less than 10 minutes! We recommend selecting 3-5 exercises based on what your workout routine will look like. For example, if you're working your upper body focus on upper body warm-up exercises and vice versa.

To help you create your very own dynamic stretching routine, we've listed 8 good warm-up exercises that you can rotate for your different workouts!

Arm circles

This exercise helps loosen up the tricep muscles, but also the shoulders and biceps.

How to do it:

  1. Keeping your palms facing down, extend your arms out to the sides.
  2. Keep your arms straight as you begin to rotate them in backward circles for about 20-30 seconds. Start by doing small circles and gradually make the circles bigger to feel the stretch in your triceps.
  3. Begin to rotate your arms forward for about 20-30 seconds gradually making the circles bigger.

Arm reach

This dynamic exercise involves reaching your arms out to the side and twisting your torso thus engaging your entire upper body.

How to do it:

  1. Stand upright with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Pivot on your left foot and swing your left arm across your chest, twisting your torso in the same direction.
  3. Immediately pivot on your right foot and repeat with your right arm.
  4. Keep alternating sides for 30-60 seconds.

Band pull-aparts

This is the only exercise on our list that will require equipment, but it's one most have – a long resistance band. Using a light or medium resistance band will help to fully engage your shoulder and upper back muscles.

How to do it:

  1. Stand up straight and hold a long band our in front of you at around chest height, your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
  2. Focusing on using your shoulders, begin to pull the band apart until your shoulder blades are squeezed together.
  3. Return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 10-15 reps, depending on the resistance of the band (fewer reps for a heavier resistance, and more reps for a lighter resistance).


This exercise is widely known as a yoga pose, but it also makes for a great dynamic warm up exercise that works stretches your upper back and core.

How to do it:

  1. Start by getting on all fours in a table pose, aligning your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Your spine should be neutral.
  2. Inhale and move into a cow pose by pressing your chest forward and lifting your glutes upwards, naturally allowing your belly to sink. Your head should be lifted with shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.
  3. Exhale to move into a cat pose by tucking your tailbone in and drawing your pubic bone forward. This will round your spine outward like a cat stretching. Release your head toward the floor so that you're looking down
  4. Keep alternating between cow and cat poses for 30-60 seconds.

Hip rotations

This is a good warm-up exercise for loosening tight hips and glutes.

How to do it:

  1. Stand upright with feet wider than hip-width apart. Bend your arms and place to place your hands behind your head.
  2. Bend your left knee to lift the left leg up, and begin to circle that leg up toward your chest, across your body, and then back down to the starting position.
  3. Repeat the same movement on your right leg.
  4. Keep alternating legs for 30-60 seconds.

Lateral lunge with balance

This exercise is great because it involves doing a side lunge with the added component of balance. So, it works your glutes, hamstring, quads, and also your balance.

How to do it:

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands at your sides.
  2. Take a big step to the left and begin to push your hips back bending your left knee and lowering your body into a deep side lunge.
  3. Push back up to an upright position, and lift your knee to pull it in your chest with your arms.
  4. Repeat the same movement on the right side, and keep alternating sides for 30-60 seconds.

Lunge with a twist

This dynamic stretch works your entire lower body and core.

How to do it:

  1. Begin by standing upright with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Step forward with your left foot and lower your body into a lunge position by bending at the knee. Don't let your left knee extend past your toes.
  3. With your arms extended out to the sides or clasped in front of you, twist your upper body to the left from your torso.
  4. Twist back into the center slowly, and step the left foot back so that you're standing.
  5. Repeat the same movement on the other side.
  6. Perform 10-15 reps.

Plank walkouts

This is a good warm-up exercise that incorporates your entire body, from your upper body to your lower body to your core!

How to do it:

  1. Start in a standing position.
  2. Bend forward hinging at your hips until your hands touch the ground.
  3. Walk your hands forward so that you're moving into a plank or push-up position.
  4. Hold the plank for a few seconds to work your core.
  5. From your plank, walk your hands back to your feet and slowly roll up to stand back up again.
  6. Repeat for 10 reps.

A good warm-up leads to a successful workout

To recap, a good warm-up doesn't need to be extremely long. Keep it shorter than 10 minutes, include 3-5 of the dynamic warm-up exercises listed above, and focus on warming up the muscles that you'll be targeting. And don't forget to take a scoop of 373 Lab's Pre-Workout shortly after to give you a surge of sustainable energy, amplify focus, and further enhance your athletic performance!

Who are we?

We're 373 Lab Supplements – nice to meet you! Founded by Iulia Danilova (Fit With Iulia), and with a team filled with fitness enthusiasts, we've worked hard to bring a trustworthy supplement to the market! Supplements that are designed to help you achieve your fitness goals by giving you only the nutrients you need – no unnecessary fillers or additives!

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How to Warm-Up: The Best Dynamic Warm-Up Exercises