8 Essential Dynamic Leg Stretches to Do Before Every Lower-Body Workout

Dynamic stretching means that you're moving as you're stretching to gently warm up the muscles.
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Rather than feeling stiff and uncomfortable at the beginning of your leg workout, add a quick, dynamic warm-up to loosen your muscles and joints. Dynamic stretching — a type of flexibility training that involves movement — is a much better way to ease into your workout than static stretching (holding in place).


Dynamic stretching before your workout reduces the risk of injury, gradually increases your body's temperature and brings blood flow to the muscles being used. If you're going to be doing squats, lunges, deadlifts or any other leg exercise that uses a lot of motion at the hips and knees, dynamic stretches will make everything go more smoothly.

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Before your next workout, run through these 8 dynamic stretches to perform at your best.

1. Knee Grab

Activity Stretching
  1. Start standing with your feet together.
  2. Raise one leg with the knee bent, grab it with both hands, and pull it up high to stretch your butt as you lean forward.
  3. Put the leg down to catch yourself and step up with the other foot, raising the knee to grab it.
  4. Keep walking forward and alternating legs each step.
  5. Repeat for 30 seconds.

2. Hip Rotator

Activity Stretching
  1. From standing, raise your right leg with the knee bent. Grab it with your right hand.
  2. Grab the ankle with your left hand and raise it up toward your left shoulder.
  3. Lean forward and let that leg go to step on it, then switch legs.
  4. Keep alternating legs each step as you walk forward.
  5. Repeat for 30 seconds.

3. World's Greatest Stretch

Activity Stretching
  1. Lunge forward with your left leg and drop your right knee almost to the ground.
  2. Plant your right hand on the ground in line with your left knee.
  3. Reach with your left arm up toward the ceiling and turn your shoulders to the left, following your hand with your eyes.
  4. Return back to center and step up your right foot in line with your left.
  5. Repeat on the right side and continue to lunge forward, alternating sides each rep.
  6. Continue for 30 seconds.

4. Inchworm

Activity Stretching
  1. From standing, band forward from your hips and plant your hands on the ground, bending your knees slightly if needed.
  2. Slowly walk your hands away from your body until you're in a high plank. Keep your knees and elbows straight, and your back as flat as possible.
  3. Slowly walk your hands back toward your feet and then stand up and repeat for 30 seconds.

5. Walking Toe Touch

Activity Stretching
  1. Start standing and take a step forward with your right foot. Plant your right heel and get the toes up in the air.
  2. Keep your right knee straight and reach down with your left hand to touch your toes.
  3. Step forward with your left foot and repeat on that side.
  4. Continue for 30 seconds.

6. Foot Grab

Activity Stretching
  1. Stand tall and kick one foot toward your butt, bending your knee.
  2. As it swings up, grab the front of your shin.
  3. Pull your heel in toward your butt and then let go of the leg, stepping forward onto that foot.
  4. Then, pull the opposite leg in close to your butt.
  5. Switch legs every step and continue for 30 seconds.

7. Lateral Lunge

Activity Stretching
  1. Face sideways and take a big step to the side.
  2. Lean to that side and straighten out the knee of the opposite leg. Stick your butt back, keep your weight on your heels and keep both feet pointed straight forward.
  3. Then, switch sides and lean toward the opposite leg before stepping back up to center.
  4. Do at least five steps to the left and five steps to the right.

8. Trunk Rotation

Activity Stretching
  1. Step with your right foot in a long stride.
  2. Bend your right knee to 90 degrees and bend your left knee so it's just hovering above the ground.
  3. Rotate and twist your upper body toward the right side.
  4. Press into your right heel to return to standing.
  5. Switch sides, stepping on your left foot and rotating to the left.
  6. Alternate here for about 30 seconds.