Warm Up

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Warm up activity demonstrating the choreography

Choreographed by Lindsey Catherine Mullis from the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky. This Warm up is based on Anne Green Gilbert’s BrainDance.

This BrainDance focuses on eight developmental movement patterns that healthy human beings naturally move through in the first year of life and focuses on those pathways and patterns to promote healthy body and brain flow that prepares the body for physical activity and learning.

The nice thing about this warm up is that as you prepare your body and mind for activity and education, it is structured movement but allows each individual to move in their own creative way and make the warm-up their own.

Breath: 3 Big Breaths

  • Simply take a large breathe in of air and feel your chest and lungs expand while reaching up and out wide with your arms.  As you breathe out let your arms float from above your head slowly back down to your sides.  Repeat for three breaths.

Tactile: Wake Up Your Body

  • Roll first from neck to shoulders to hips to knees and then shake
  • Next tap your body starting with your arms down your body to your toes and back to your head

Core-Distal: X Stretch

  • 3 times each way step out like an X, stretching your arms up and wide, and then back together bending down low in a bug squat touching the ground


  • Only move upper body while keeping your legs planted and still. Follow with only moving the lower body and keeping upper body still with hands on hips

Body Side:

  • Only move the right side of your body starting with arm only, then leg only, then both
  • Follow with the left side of the body moving only your left arm and left leg

Cross Lateral: The CrissCross

  • Take your right hand and swing it down to touch your left knee. Repeat this same motion with your left hand touching your right knee. The goal is to cross your body with opposite hand going to opposite knee.  The lowest level of intensity is keeping the foot planted on the ground while you bend to touch your hand to your knee.
  • To make it a higher level of intensity, lift your left knee to reach your right hand as you move and alternate with right knee lifting to your left hand.
  • The highest level of difficulty is to kick your right toe to your left fingertips and alternate with left toe and right fingertips.

Step Touches:

  • Start slow and low intensity with one step from side to side by stepping together back and fourth. Then take it up a level of intensity by taking two step touches to the same side before switching to the other side.
  • Add Arms:
    • Out, in, out, up
  • Toe Tap Stretch:
    • Start with toe taps by tapping each toe on the ground, pointing your toes so you can to actively stretch the shin muscle at the front of your lower leg
  • Heel Tap Stretch:
    • Next switch to heel taps where you flex your foot reaching your toe up to the ceiling and getting a nice active stretch in the calf muscle on the back of the leg


  • Hop to stand on 1 foot and hold your balance as best you can for several seconds then switch and hop to the other
  • When you are ready you can up the intensity by adding a spin jump for the finishing move. You can spin jump a half turn or a full turn. The goal is to work on throwing your body off balance just a little bit and then working to get that balance back

Now you are all warmed up! Ready to stretch and ready to be active and exercise and learn about healthy choices!