The Standard Warm-Up: Video Demonstration

by Jason Fitzgerald

The Standard Warm-up is a dynamic flexibility and stretching routine that is done before you run. This series of light strength exercises and mobility drills help prepare your body to work harder.

What I love about this routine is that it takes about 8 minutes once you learn the order of exercises. You can do it in your living room and it’s a great way to reduce injury risk, help you feel better during your workout, and wake your body up before morning runs.

It works by increasing your core body temperature, opening capillaries, lubricating joints, and loosening your muscles. These are all the things that a warm-up should do. Static stretching is a thing of the past (except after runs, where it doesn’t hurt) and is essentially useless before you run.

If you typically run after sitting down at an office job, it’s crucial that you prepare yourself for a workout or even an easy run. A full 8-9 hours of sitting wreaks havoc on your body, typically resulting in poor posture, stiff muscles, and tight hamstrings. The Standard Warm-up can counteract some of the ill effects of sitting for prolonged periods.

You don’t need any equipment to perform this routine and it can be modified for use in a cramped hotel room, parking lot, or wherever you are before you go running.

  1. Walking Deadlifts (Drinking Bird) – 10 reps.  Take a step forward with your left leg, bend down while keeping your left leg fairly straight and touch your left toes with both hands.  Keep your left leg slightly bent and your right leg parallel to the floor. Your right leg and your torso will be parallel to the floor.  Repeat on your other leg.
  2. Knee Hugs - 10 reps.
  3. Groiners – 20 reps.
  4. Donkey Kicks – 10 reps.
  5. Mountain Climbers – 20 reps with legs in, 20 reps with legs out.
  6. Iron Cross - 10 reps.
  7. Lunge Matrix - 2-10 reps per lunge type.
  8. Leg Swings - 10 reps.
  9. Lateral Leg Swings – 10 reps.

A few things to keep in mind during this video:

  • Don’t round your back while doing walking dead lifts. Unfortunately, my form isn’t great in the video.
  • Do the routine barefoot for extra foot strength.
  • If any exercise is too difficult, you know you have something to work on. However, if it hurts then don’t do it.
  • Once you’re familiar with the exercises, you can do this every day before you run. I recommend you learn other types of warm-ups for variation, though.
  • You can do this routine as a warm-down after you run to help you loosen up; it’s not strictly limited to before running.

If you always forget these exercises, join the SR Private List below and get a custom-made illustration of the entire routine (free).

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Thank you! I have been doing a few of these exercises a little wrong. It’s nice to have a reminder of form and all that good stuff. Thanks Fitz!


Hi, i have been doing some of these exercises and i started having pain on lateral leg swing at the hip and a bit lower. The pain is more noticable after running.


These exercises shouldn’t cause you pain. If something hurts, you should stop and try to determine if you’re doing the exercise correctly or if there’s an underlying reason why you’re experiencing pain.


Perfect, Thank you!!!

Nathan Frazier


You are truly an helpful! Thanks for all that you do!


Thanks Nate!


Great video, do you have one for post-run stretching?


Hey Blitz – I don’t do any regular static stretching, but try some of the dynamic flexibility routines here:


Thanks so much for this video Fitz! I am going out on my first run after warming up for the first time ever!


I enjoyed your book very much.
this is a real question, i’m running my first marathon. where should I do the warm up routine? obviously I can’t do it home, I have to drive for 20 minutes to the location.

Jason Fitzgerald

Thanks Nadia! You can do the routine anywhere – sidewalk, strip of grass, wherever there’s room and you don’t mind people staring at you ;)


thanks :)


I heard some runners say, don’t listen to music while you are running. for me, as a beginner it’s very hard to do long runs (6 miles and up), without listening to music, unless i’m running with a group. what is your opinion on the subject.
Thank you.

Jason Fitzgerald

If that’s what you need, then go for it. I run with music sometimes; there’s nothing wrong with it. Just be safe because you can’t hear cars or other people as well!


I am going to try this tonight before running. I did the full lunge matrix Saturday, and was still feeling it yesteday. I got a good chuckle when your director/camera person whispered a correction to you on the lateral leg swings.

Half-Crazed Runner

This is great! Thank you!


I am adopting more and more of the SR practices. I have a history of achilles and calf issues. Are there good dynamic warmups for the lower legs? These warm-ups seem to emphasize the upper legs at the expense of the lower.

Jason Fitzgerald

Don’t worry about it – they’ll get plenty warmed up with this routine. Some light foam rolling is also another option for pre-run.

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