Muscle strains are normally caused by either decreased flexibility or a decreased agonist to antagonist ratio. Static stretches were once thought to be the best way to warm up muscles in order to avoid muscle strains, but current studies show that static stretches can actually inhibit muscle strength, leading to injury.
A dynamic warm-up will increase flexibility, core muscle temperature and nerve conduction velocity, leading to faster reaction time during exercises. Here is a 10 to 15 minute warm-up you can use before a workout:
1. Walk on your toes for 10 yds., then walk on your heels for another 10 yds. Repeat three times.
2. Walk forward, high stepping for 10 yds. while turning the trunk towards the high knee. Repeat three times.
3. Heel kicks to your buttocks. Alternate between both legs. Repeat 30 times.
4. High knee skipping in place. Alternate between both legs. Repeat 30 times.
5. Jog at an easy pace for 50 yds. Sprint another 50 yds.