11 Dynamic Mobility Exercises

Watch these 11 short exercises to warm up your body for the different physical needs you will have when running or competing in a running race. This warm up should take less than 10 minutes to be ready to run. Presented by Emily Klump, PT, DPT at the Orthopaedic Rehab Specialists Foot, Ankle & Running Center of Jackson.

From Emily Klump- PT, DPT
Foot, Ankle & Running Center of Jackson, MI


These dynamic mobility exercises are designed to provide an excellent way to help you improve flexibility, hip and ankle stability, as well as core strengthening. They can help correct muscle imbalances, promote power output, decrease early fatigue during training sessions and minimize injury risk. They are so important but often forgotten! Mobility prep is key for improving athletic performance.

We recommend performing these exercises before each training session for best results. Some of us even perform these first thing in the morning for general flexibility! Perform as smoothly and with the best technique that you can. It’s better to do a smaller range of motion with good technique than full range of motion with poor technique. Build up to deeper ranges of motion as your body allows. 

1. Hip crossover – 8 reps to each side

    Step 1: Lie on back with arms spread wide, knees and hips at 90/90
Step 2: Swing slowly side to side.

2. Open books – 8 reps to each side

    Step 1: Lie on your side with shoulders, hips, and knees at 90 degrees
Step 2: Rotate top arm and shoulder back to try to touch shoulder blade to floor
Step 3: Return to start position and repeat.

3. Leg-overs – 8 reps to each side

    Step 1: Lie on back with arms spread wide and legs straight.  
Step 2: Swing one leg up and over to touch the opposite hand.  Initiate with your belly button.
Step 3: Return to start position and perform with other leg.

4. Scorpion– 8 reps to each side

    Step 1: Lie on stomach with arms spread wide and legs straight.
Step 2: Swing one leg up and over towards opposite hand. Initiate the movement with the glute
Step 3: Return to start position and perform with other leg. 

5. Calf stretch- 8 reps to each side

    Step 1: Begin in push-up position with one foot resting over the other heel.  
Step 2: Press heel down to the floor then raise up. Repeat.

6. World’s greatest stretch – 6 reps to each side
    Step 1: Lunge forward with your right leg while keeping torso upright. With your knees bent, squat down until your back knee is almost touching the ground.
    Step 2: Bend your right elbow and place it as close as you can to your right foot. Place your other hand on the ground parallel to your front leg for support. Pause.
    Step 3: Reach up to the ceiling with your right hand. Pause.
    Step 4: Place your hands on either side of your right foot. Raise the toes of your right foot off of the ground and straighten your leg.
    Step 5: Come up to standing and repeat the entire sequence on the other side. Make these motions as smooth and continuous as possible.

7. Reverse Lunge walks– 6 reps to each side)
  Step 1: Stand with your feet together. 
Step 2: Step backwards with your right foot and bend at both knees until your legs make a 90 degree angle and your back knee almost touched the floor. Reach up and over with your right hand and down and to the back with your left hand.
Step 3: Now stand back up by pushing through your left foot and step back in a backwards walking motion, and do the same action as you did with the right leg. Try to step all the way through into the next lunge without setting your left foot down half way through. (You may need to do this at first for balance). Repeat.

8. Curtsy Lunges– 6 reps to each side

    Step 1: Start with feet shoulder width apart. Keeping torso upright, reach back and behind your body with one leg and bend your front knee, keeping your knee over your foot and your weight towards the heel of your front foot.
Step 2: Lunge down so that your back knee almost touches the floor.
Weight should be evenly distributed between both feet at this point. 
Step 3:Push off of your front foot and bring it in line with your other foot - feet should be shoulder width apart again. Repeat. 

9. Walking single leg deadlifts– 8 reps to each side

    Step 1: Start with feet shoulder width apart. Lean forward by hinging at the hips, keeping your back flat while raising right leg behind you.
Step 2: Keep your right leg as straight as you can and point toes toward the floor to keep your hips from opening up. Hinge back up at the hips by firing your glutes on your left leg to bring you back upright.
Step 3: Step through with your right leg and repeat the process on the other side.

10. Inch worms– 6 reps to each side

     Step 1: Start standing with feet hip-width apart. Hinge forward at your hips and place your palms on the floor.  You can bend your knees if needed to get your palms flat on the floor.
Step 2: Walk your hands forward so that you’re in a high plank. Your shoulders should be stacked directly above your wrists. 
Step 3: Walk forward using your toes to bring your feet back to your hands. Repeat by walking your hands forward again into another tall plank and starting over.

11. Sumo squats– 8 reps to each side

    Step 1: Feet spread slightly wider than shoulder width apart with toes pointed out.
Step 2: Drop your hips to the floor.  Grab onto your big toes with elbows inside of knees and chest pointed forward.  
Step 3: Lift your hips toward the ceiling without letting go of your toes, then drop back down prying your  knees apart and pointing your chest forward again.