Your warm-up should primarily include dynamic stretching. Getting your muscles warmed up not only reduces the likelihood of soreness, but it also significantly reduces the chance of injury. An example of a good warmup for a run or leg workout can include running in place for 30-60 seconds, leg swings front to back and side to side, or body weight squats in brisk successions. It is important to gradually increase your heart rate and exertion levels. If you are planning on doing some sprints or a HIIT workout you should ensure your body feels adequately prepared.
What is Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching that involves regular, repetitive movement to create the stretch in the tissues. Dynamic stretching uses the leverage of your limbs primarily to create a stretch, versus holding a still position for a period of time, as with static stretching. Some good examples of dynamic stretches are high knees to chest jogs, high kicks, butt kicks and light lunges with a twist. The stretches are very straight forward and the names themselves explain what you should do. For knee to chest, you can do this in a prone position or if you are comfortable, in a standing position. The stretch involves bringing your knee up to your chest and pulling inward. This stretch targets both your hamstrings and your glutes. High kicks are often referred to as zombie walks, which involves keeping your leg straight and kicking it forward as far as you can, comfortably. Butt kicks involve a light jog with emphasis on bringing your foot to your glutes and a lunge with a twist involves walking lunges with a twist to the opposite side of your front leg.