Before You Go: Try These Warm-Up Exercises for Cardio


We’ve always heard that stretching is important before a run or other cardio activity, but is it the best way to warm up? We asked to our experts the best way to prepare for a great cardio session.

Stretching before a workout has been historically promoted as a good way to get your muscles ready. Instead, save static stretches, where you hold a stretch in place for a long period of time, for the end of your workout.

“We want to increase fluid flow and get you ready for dynamic movement,” says Brendan Ryder, physical therapist with Renown Physical Therapy & Rehab. He recommends adopting a brief series of warm up exercises to encourage muscle elasticity and decrease risk for injury.

The exercises in this demo are shown in place but can be performed while moving across an open area.

Forward Lunge and Reach

Step forward with one leg into a lunge position. Make sure that your knee is aligned with your toe as you bend that leg. Stretch your torso up toward with sky with arms extended overhead. Alternate sides several times.

Lateral Lunge

With your legs spread wide apart, lunge to the side and squat down low to the ground. Keep your heel grounded as you feel a good stretch in your inner thigh. Alternate sides several times.


Hamstring Sweep

Extend one leg in front of you with the heel planted on the ground and your toe pointed toward the sky. Bend over from the waist and sweep your fingers forward across the ground. Alternate sides several times.

Knee Pulls

While standing in place, pull one knee up toward your chest with both hands. Alternate sides several times.

Butt Kickers

Kick your foot behind you toward your backside, then kick up the opposite foot. This should feel like you’re hopping in place and feeling a stretch in front of the thigh. Repeat for about 10 seconds.

Hometown Health and Renown Health are proud to be the official insurance plan and healthcare partners of the Nevada Wolf Pack.

Renown Physical Therapy & Rehab

Through outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy, Renown Physical Therapy & Rehab gives patients hands-on, individualized treatment in convenient Reno/Sparks locations. We have the latest, most advanced physical therapy and rehab equipment, specialty services and treatments.

Renown Physical Therapy & Rehab is now open on Robb Drive in addition to three additional locations in Reno and Sparks.

Call 775-982-5001 or visit us online.