Dynamic Warm-Ups, Young Athletes & Your Workout

Hey Hey Hey!

How’s everyone feeling today??? Happy Tuesday ๐Ÿ™‚

Is it bad that I want toย  just eat this stuff up for lunch and dinner:

I made it happen. When I was out of zucchini pasta…I dug the rest out with a spoon and ate it straight. I am not ashamed in the least.

Today I want to talk about something very important. It’s a subject that we all need to pay close attention to but I really want young athletes and parents to check it out also. My fellow Body Rock phanatics (sorry, habit, I can’t spell that with an ‘f), listen up as well.

My favorite point in my personal training career were the three years I trained young athletes. I did off-ice dryland training for boys and girls ice hockey.

My sister is an amazing hockey player.

She went to National Sports Academy in Lake Placid (think “Miracle on Ice“) on a scholarship when she was scouted in high school. My family is so into ice hockey. Funny that I married a guy that couldn’t care less about it. Unless the Flyers are in the playoffs. It’s the only sport he becomes a fair weathered fan. He’s lucky my clan loved him before they knew that ๐Ÿ˜‰

I trained Carly’s old team, The Little Flyers 19 and under and 16 and under girls teams for two summers. I also trained my high schools boys ice hockey JV and Varsity teams for two summers. My third summer I had a smaller group, and we were able to do it indoors with a mix of boys and girls hockey players.

It was amazing because as a trainer I was constantly being challenged to design the best program for their sport. I was also able to work them really hard, which any trainer knows is the best, especially when there’s no/minimal complaining. These kids WANTED to work hard. They were serious about their sport, and their training. It was extremely rewarding.

I focused on periodization training, even though I only worked with most of them for 3 months. (Some hired me throughout the year.) When the season was beginning I gave them a program to follow up for training.

I did a lot of plyometrics (future post coming soon)..

agility training

strength training, core work, and movement training based on their sport.

Most importantly...We always started with a very thorough dynamic warm-up in the beginning and cool down stretch at the end.

Right now there seems to be an epidemic in young athletes with injuries. One of those being growth plate injuries. The growth plate, also known as the epiphyseal plate or physis, is the area of growing tissue near the ends of the long bones in children and adolescents. In a child, a serious injury to a joint is more likely to damage a growth plate than the ligaments that stabilize the joint. Trauma that would cause a sprain in an adult might cause a growth plate fracture in a child.

One third of growth plate injuries occur in competitive young athletes.

**Disclaimer: this post is not meant to diagnose or treat injuries. If you think you may be injured or have muscular imbalances, see a doctor!

One factor to consider when trying to prevent injuries in general, especially growth plate injuries in young athletes is the proper training. One very important component in that is doing a thorough dynamic warm-up:


Dynamic warm-ups may help prevent injury not only in young athletes, but you will spot professional athletes doing these before a game.


Traditionally, a warm-up consists of doing five to 10 minutes of cardio followed by static stretching. This actually is not preparing your body for strength training or any type of sport! Research shows that there is no benefit to doing static stretches before sports performance or any physical activity. In fact, static stretching before activity can actually CAUSE injury!


What is a Dynamic Warm-Up: “Dynamic” means to “involve motion” so a dynamic warm-up is a warm up that is active, involving movement. You should never do static stretches before your workout. Think of you muscles as a rubber band. If a rubber band is cold and you stretch it, what happens? It will break. You can’t stretch cold muscles. However, it’s good to be lose when you are about to involve yourself in intense exercise. The solution? A warm-up that involves active stretching

For my friends out there that love to workout…you don’t need to be an athlete for these to be important. You will often find me kicking my butt with butt kickers right before a workout (always do butt kickers towards the end of the warm up ):

Body Rockers! Runners! Fitness Enthusiasts! You should never just jump into a workouts.

Zuzanna warms up, most likely with dynamic stretches before her HIIT workouts. So should you!

The Goals of a Dynamic Warm-Up

  • Prepares the body for the demands of the workout
  • Increase core body temperature
  • Increase heart rate to get the blood pumping through the body and warm up the muscles.
  • Open up your joints, especially those within the hips, spine, feet and ankles.
  • Actively stretch your muscles to prepare them for what youโ€™ll be asking them for during the run.
  • Reinforce great posture.

There are a few dynamic warm-up samples online. Youtube has some nice dynamic warm upย  videos,ย  I like this PDF, I wrote about 5 I often use. I will have to put together a separate post to elaborate more on the actual exercises. For now use the links I provided in this post

What do you do to prepare your body for physical activity?

Do you perform a dynamic warm-up before you exercise???


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  • Reply GirlonRaw

    GREAT post Laury! Something I know little about, but my dad runs a group training business and this is EXACTLY what I hear him doing with his Boot Camps (most of which are over 40 too so they have to be more aware of strain injuries). I love this reminder as I get back into proper working out. You know your stuff!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:13 am
    • Reply laury

      Thank you!! That’s awesome your dad runs a group training biz! He sounds like he knows his stuff too ๐Ÿ™‚

      September 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm
  • Reply Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

    Wow, that’s really interesting about the growth plate thing – I never knew. When I was competing in cross country for my university, my coach would always have us do skipping A’s, Bs, and butt kicks, similar to what you described. I’m not going to lie and tell you that I do them before my runs now, even though I probably should!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:13 am
    • Reply laury

      yes you should! biggest set up for’re so active!

      September 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm
  • Reply Lisa

    This is great info—thanks for sharing. I find that I am constantly dispelling the stretching-warm-up myths. I always ask clients about their gym “routine” and the athletes about their warm-up/cool-down. Inevitably, 80% or so stretch before they do strenuous working out.
    When I first learned about this was in gymnastics (when I actually had a coach who was good)—we did dynamic warm-up and the practice always followed a sequence that ended with flexibility and stretching exercises. Then I ran track and the coach had us stretch in the beginning—I think these contradictions were why I wanted to go to school for exercise science in the first place!

    September 13, 2011 at 9:39 am
    • Reply laury

      Me too! 80-90% of new clients always go to stretch before we even do anything when I first start out with them and I always cry “NOoo!” you must warm those muscles up!

      That’s a good reason to study it!

      September 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm
  • Reply Shayla @ The Good Life

    Great post!! I take a bootcamp class and he has us always warm up with a dynamic warm-up – it’s the first time I actually ever experienced it and I love it – really gets my muscles loose and ready to exercise. The warm-up consists of high knees, butt kickers, and jumping jacks ๐Ÿ™‚

    September 13, 2011 at 10:09 am
    • Reply laury

      yes it does!!

      September 13, 2011 at 5:57 pm
  • Reply Morgan

    Such a good post! I NEEDED this! I think I am pretty bad at doing a good warm up. I kind of half “a**” it because I am not awake and ready yet or something.. I know how immportant it is to do a thorough warm up though..So this is going to be my NEW goal. To do really good thorough warming up! ๐Ÿ˜€ you have such good cuggestions too! I didnt know that it was the growth plate injuries that were happenening in young kids..scary!!
    That is rad that your sister played Ice hockey! She must be a tough girl! I really do think that would be such a fun job (to train for sports). Thanks for the awesome post chica and have a GRRRRRREAT tuesday love!!!

    September 13, 2011 at 10:18 am
    • Reply laury

      Yes, you gotta..I don’t want my soul sista getting injured!

      She is a tough chica. She has my back ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was SO much fun and definitely m y most favorite time in my training career!

      September 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm
  • Reply Holly @ The Runny Egg

    I’ll admit that I do not do a good warmup before my runs — usually because I think the first 1/2 mile or so is my “warm up”. I know better than that but I don’t follow my own advice!

    I do an active warmup before my weights sessions though — lunges, squats, jumping jacks, toe touches, punches, etc. Oh and butt kickers too for sure!

    September 13, 2011 at 10:42 am
    • Reply laury

      ohh…so important to do all that before you run! All the pavement pounding you must get your muscles ready!

      September 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm
  • Reply thehealthyapron

    Iused to be SO guilty of not warming up beofre exercise! I know first hand the injuries that can ensue! Thanks for the reminder!

    September 13, 2011 at 10:44 am
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  • Reply Jess@atasteofconfidence

    I LOVE HOCKEY! You don’t see many bloggers that do, so I get really excited when I see another one mention it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    September 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm
  • Reply Trainer Kjirsten @ Balanced Healthy Life

    My warm up is usually walking then running on the treadmill for at least 5 minutes before I start my real workout!

    September 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm
  • Reply Kat

    Super jealous your sister plays hockey AND you got to train them! That is one sport I wish I could get involved in more, but Im not a very good skater lol
    I love plyos, so I cant wait for your post on that!!

    September 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm
    • Reply laury

      They tried to teach me to skate…I wasn’t very good. They made fun of me when I wanted the “girly” skates. I have good balance and core strength, but the ice just freaked me out!

      They were SO much fun to train on dry land though!

      September 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm
  • Reply The Delicate Place

    i tend to slowly go through the movements of bodyrock before jumping in just so i know the sequence. guess i was doing a lil dynamic stretching without even knowing it! i don’t really stretch after workouts either lol however i try to do yoga a couple times during the week for 20mins to balance out my lack of doing it on more intense days.

    September 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm
    • Reply laury

      that’s a good idea too….to do a warm up round of movements… MUST stretch at the end, girl! Doing yoga a couple times a week it all well and good, but you gotta stretch after the activity!!

      September 13, 2011 at 6:09 pm
  • Reply Pure2raw Twins

    we do jump roping for our warm-ups or go for a walk. we enjoy getting the body moving before we dive into the workout! and we have also been very proud of ourselves by keeping up with stretching afterwards!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    September 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm
  • Reply Liz @ iheartvegetables

    Haha that’s so cool! I dated a hockey player for awhile and I actually really like watching him play. I’m not big into sports but I think hockey is a fun one to watch because it’s so fast paced!

    September 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm
  • Reply Katie

    My brother started me on dynamic warm ups and I love them! LOVE the way they make me feel. I like them so much better than static stretching.

    September 13, 2011 at 10:27 pm
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