A proper warmup is an essential part of any exercise program. When it comes to performing warmups for sprinting, it’s non-negotiable—and for good reason. Running full speed on cold muscles, or muscles that aren’t properly warmed up is a recipe for disaster and a fast way to tear a hamstring.

Requiring maximal effort, sprinting demands a lot from your body, specifically your muscles and joints. In fact, sprinters exceed three to four times their body weight through a single joint when running making proper warm-ups vital for injury prevention.

Loaded with benefits, (when thoroughly warmed up), this high-intensity exercise is not only good for building speed but also boosts heart and lung health. “Sprinting has been shown to decrease blood pressure, increase VO2 max, and even increase brain cognition and other functions,” shares D.J. Ruffin, Sweat PT personal trainer, and all-America track and field athlete at Southeastern Louisiana,.

Here, the five-time Southland Conference champion takes you through a dynamic pre-sprint warmup. This plan will help ensure your muscles and joints are ready to hit top speed!

Why Dynamic Warmups For Sprinting Is a Must

Not all warm-ups are created equal, and some can even leave your muscles slightly cold and stiff. For high-intensity exercises like sprinting, Ruffin recommends dynamic warmups for best sprinting results.

Dynamic warmups (or dynamic stretching) use the force production of a muscle and the body’s momentum to take a joint through the full available range of motion which helps the body prepare for the demands that will be placed on it. This ensures not only your muscles are warm and ready for action, but your joints as well.

For example, before sprinting, you’d perform knee-high variations or before getting under the squat rack, you’d perform bodyweight squats.

With that, next time you head to the track, bring this warmup with you.

Warm-Up Instructions: Perform each move for 30 seconds. Rest for 1 minute and repeat. You can repeat the cycle as many times as needed to get your body properly warmed up.