3 Essential Dynamic Warm-up Exercises for Every Rehearsal

I apologize. Last blog I told you there was a problem with how most bands warm up (static stretching), but I did not offer specific solutions. After receiving many messages and emails, I realize that needs to change.

I want to give you three exercises that you can implement today to help your program warm-up faster and have more energy for rehearsal.

There are dozens of exercises you could be using to accomplish the same goals, so this is by no means an exhaustive list. Instead, this is meant as a start for you and your program to begin applying the concepts of dynamic warm-ups.

The basic concept of the dynamic warm-up is to progress members from slow movements to fast movements, and from general warm-ups to those that are more specific to marching. Each dynamic exercise should engage as many muscles as possible to maximize time during the warm-up. Progressing from general exercise to marching-specific movements, here are three exercises that I believe are essential to perform before every rehearsal:

High Knees

Slow: stretches the glutes and takes your hips through their full flexion range of motion.

Fast: activates the hip flexors for forward marching and increases heart rate before jumping into visual basics.

Butt Kicks

Slow: takes the hip flexors and knee extensors through their entire range of motion. This improves the hip extension necessary to increase backwards step size.

Fast: activates the hamstrings, which are engaged with all directions of marching.


Hornline: focus on quickly rotating your pelvis to mimic slide technique.

Battery: maintain hips flat to the front to mimic crabbing.

Colorguard: strive for maximum rotational range of motion through the spine and hips.

ALL SECTIONS: keep shoulders facing the front to practice performing to the audience.

I typically recommend doing 10-20 yards (or 30 seconds) of each exercise and repeating each exercises at least once to properly warm the muscles. You should be able to get a good warm-up completed in 5-10 minutes. Give these exercises a shot and let me know how it goes!

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