How to pair your pre-workout movement accordingly.
Doing a dynamic warm-up—anything that gets your body moving and your blood flowing before any workout—is generally a great idea. But being even more picky about the types of exercises you do before a session could bring major body benefits. “Think about the movement pattern or exercises you plan to do that day, and then strategically add one or two warm-up moves to whatever workout you’re doing,” says New York City-based Tier 3+ trainer and Precision Running coach Rachel Mariotti.
Here, a few of Mariotti’s favorite athletic drills for multiple forms of movement.
If you’re doing… squats and/or deadlifts
Prep with… Mini Band Monster Walks
"This drill targets your glutes and hips, which are always in need of strength. There are over 25 muscles that are responsible for hip movement. Think of the band walks as more functional movement and activation for bigger, more complex movements such as deep squats or box jumps. Many athletes use the mini bands to not only strengthen the intricate muscles surrounding the hip, but also for muscle activation in prep for heavy lifts. The mini bands can help runners improve their running gait, jumpers’ force production for verticals, and give more balance to the hips for more accurate, safe, and strong side-to-side movement.”
If you’re doing… a run or bike ride
Prep with… Bulgarian Split Squat Hop
"This drill develops balance and control in the hips and ankle of the standing foot, provides even more activation of the glute muscles and range of motion in the hip joint as does a standard squat, and also limits spinal compression. It is an effective way to build strength in each leg. Adding weight and adding a jump at the top of the squat, like the box jump, requires more power and more balance for the land.”
If you’re doing… a total body strength circuit
Prep with… Lateral High-Knee Drills
"Changing direction and relying on single-leg strength is at the essence of many athletic-style conditioning regimens. This drill develops agility and gets other muscles involved, i.e. gluteus medius and abductors, which are life-savers when changing directions at a rapid rate. This relates strongly to the conditioning of soccer, football, tennis and basketball athletes.”
If you’re doing… anything that’s not upper-body heavy
Prep with… Animal Flow Kick-Through
"This complex move, which is part of the Animal Flow training by Mike Fitch, requires a high level of shoulder, hip, and core stability, mobility, and flexibility. I like to look at the animal flow kick-throughs as a way to wake up my body, to open up and warm up the major joint complexes (hip and shoulder), as well as activate the core (the muscles around the spine). The kick-throughs can be used as a dynamic warmup, or actively stretching through movement."