Want to join our team? We are hiring PT, OT, and ATC positions.


Dynamic warm-up mobility exercises and general core stability

In today’s blog, I would like to address dynamic warm-up mobility exercises and general core stability.

In all workout formats, it is recommended to start with a dynamic warm-up to prepare the body for movement and performance.  A warm-up increases blood flow to the muscles and prepares the muscular and nervous system for work with active movement.   Dynamic stretches are a large component of this.  It is best to perform dynamic stretches that take the muscles and joints through similar ranges to the workout or sport you are going to be participating in.  

Iron Cross/Scorpion Video

  • It is always good to warm-up the body before an exercise routine.  If you do not have exercise equipment available, you can always do a light jog in place, walk briskly around the room, jumping jacks, anything to get the heart rate up a bit and the body ready to work.  3-5 minutes is recommended for this initial warm-up, then continue with dynamic stretches and movement.
  • The Iron Cross and Scorpion are good lower body and low back dynamic stretches that take the front and back of the lower extremity through its available range.  In standing, you can also do leg swings forward and back and side to side for lower extremity dynamic mobility.

Alternate Leg Swing March Video

  • A common dynamic movement I have seen at many practice warm-ups is the straight leg march with arm reach.  This is good for both lower and upper extremity dynamic movement and can involve the core stabilizers if performed correctly.  To involve the core, you want to keep the back straight and avoid bending over.  This holds the core tight and also gives a better stretch to the hamstrings and back of the thigh. 
  • Dynamic stretches should be performed with a minimum of one set of 10 reps per side and usually involves 2-3 exercises that focus on moving through the length of the muscle and mimicking sports-related movement when possible.

Having a strong core gives athletes the base for all sports-related movements.  Posture and athletic form are improved when an athlete has strong core stabilizers.  This strong core stability improves balance and reactive forces and with a strong base of support allows for increased lower and upper extremity strength gains. 

  • Your “core” is a combination of abdominal and low back muscular support creating a brace of support around your mid-line.  Any exercises where you are unsupported (i.e. not lying on your back or stomach) will allow for both components of the core to recruit to give support to your mid-line and allow for stronger movement from the extremities.
  • The plank is the go-to core stabilizer that I like to incorporate in any sports performance program.  For young athletic performance, it is suggested that an athlete can perform a front plank with good form for a minimum of 1.5 – 2 minutes and a side plank for a minimum of 1 minute per side.  For starters, the athlete should attempt a plank for as long as they can hold while maintaining good form, and work up to the time suggested.  This should be performed 2-3 times for forwarding and side planks on each side.  https://youtu.be/3BrwiogFWso  

Forward and Side Plank Videos


  • In addition to the plank, any standing exercise that involves controlled movement while maintaining good posture is essentially core stability work.  As mentioned above, performing the straight leg march with a tall posture with the abdominal muscles tight will help to improve core stability.  Balance work while performing a skilled movement and trying to maintain upright posturing will also improve core stability.  
  • Core stability should be performed 3-4 times per week and can be done in conjunction with other workouts.

Overall, starting a workout with a dynamic warm-up and dynamic stretches helps prepare the body for work and athletic performance.  In addition, adding core stability into your workouts a few times a week will help to develop a good base of support for reactive body posturing and athletic movement.

More from the blog

Is Sleeping a Pain???

Is Sleeping a Pain???

Are you experiencing countless sleepless, restless nights because of pain? Are you tired of going to work feeling and looking like a zombie? In today’s age it seems that we are getting less sleep due to the fast pace of an ever-changing world. We are also obsessed...

Tennis Agility

Tennis Agility

Having issues with movement on the court? Agility: quick footsteps/movements and changes in body direction are an important part of the tennis game and can easily be worked on with a few simple drills.   Sideways shuffle: A quick sideways movement while staying...

Stay Safe During the Snow

Stay Safe During the Snow

The most common snow and ice injuries are low back injuries from shoveling and slipping and falling on the ice. Below are some tips to help you avoid those injuries. If you find yourself slipping, remember “tuck and roll." If you feel yourself losing balance, tuck...