It wasn't that long ago that extensive static stretching -- where you hold a stretch without moving -- before a workout was considered a smart thing to do. It was the best way to avoid injury, so we thought. But recent studies have changed the way we prepare for workouts. Too much pre-workout static stretching has the same effect as continually stretching a rubber band. Your muscles lose the tension and snapback needed for twitchy, explosive movements like stealing a base or chasing a drive into the gap. What you gain in flexibility, you lose in power and response. And the most surprising findings from recent studies show that pre-workout static stretching doesn't necessarily help prevent injury.
So what are we supposed to do before working out? We can't go cold into deadlifts, right? Most of today's popular circuit-style workouts preach dynamic stretching and active warm-ups to replace static stretching -- activities where you move through a complete range of motion to getthe muscles warmed up, without the loss of power. And a good place to start is where most of our power comes from: the glutes and legs.
About 20-60 seconds of high knee and butt kick exercises should get the glutes and legs warmed up and ready for a workout.