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Dynamic Warm-Up Progression

Start your training session and game right with a dynamic warm-up.  The focus shifted from static stretching, holding a position for 15-30 seconds, to a dynamic full body activity several years ago.  Static stretching is reserved for the end of training or games when you need to hold the position for an amount of time to relax the muscles.  Since sport involves full body dynamic moves a good warm-up is essential to preparing for these demands.

Keys to a proper warm-up include moving the body through its entire range of motion as a unit.  Rather than stretching one body part at a time, focus on the body systems as a whole.  Imagine your muscles, tendons, nerves and other tissues that come from your lower back down to the bottom of your foot and toes.  Move them all through a unified range of motion by pointing you toe up, straightening your knee, bending at the waist and touching your toe. You should feel the stretch in your arch, Achilles tendon, calf, hamstring, glutes and low back at the same time.  The goal is to wake-up the muscles on the back side, front side and rotators and eventually incorporate them all into dynamic stretching movements.

Remember to keep good posture and good form.  Take your time and develop a routine that works for your body.  At the end of your warm-up you should be sweating, have an increased heart rate and be breathing heavy.

The progression for the dynamic warm-up video is listed below:

  • Knee to chest stretch (toe points in the air)
  • Quad stretch
  • Glute and Piriformis stretch
  • Toe touch on ground
  • Squats with toes pointed forward
  • Squats with toes pointed outward
  • Lunge with arms in the air
  • Lunge with arms rotating over the forward knee and reaching back
  • Lunge then forward bend to touch the toe
  • Side skater inner thigh stretch
  • Hip hinge or one leg bend and lift
  • High knee run forward and backward
  • Butt kicker forward and backward
  • Skips forward and backward
  • Skips for height
  • Side slide
  • Carioca/grapevine
  • Soldier walk/ straight leg kick
  • Hip openers forward and backward
  • Hip closers forward and backward
  • 2 slides, turn and sprint
  • 2 hops and sprint
  • Include other soccer specific moves


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