If there is one movement that takes me back to high school basketball practice, it would be this one. The karaoke running drill was a favorite of every coach I ever had, so there was a point where I felt like I could do this classic warm up exercise in my sleep. Not only is it beneficial for warming up your leg muscles, but it is also cardiovascular focused to get your heart pumping and lungs burning. 

This is a dynamic movement. Dynamic stretches usually involve controlled, active movements of the targeted muscles to increase blood flow to the area all the while also loosening up the muscle fibers. Examples of dynamic stretching would be lunges and arm swings and, of course, karaoke. The main ingredient to dynamic stretching is movement.

Karaoke involves a little bit of fancy footwork and requires coordination, agility, and stability. As we always recommend, start slowly with this movement. It may take a few tries to get the rhythm and footwork down. Once you have learned the pattern, feel free to speed it up and get that heart rate up.  

This article will walk you through each step of karaoke. We will also talk about the benefits of including this movement in your warm up routines and ways to modify it if necessary. 

What is Karaoke? 

Karaoke is a running drill that helps develop footwork, agility, and lateral movement. The term lateral movement simply refers to any movement that is done side-to-side. Sometimes this movement is called “grapevine” as the footwork is somewhat reminiscent of a grapevine pattern. 

There are a few key points to remember when doing karaoke. First, start by standing up tall with your arms relaxed at your sides. Start by moving in a lateral motion crossing your left foot over your right. Then, step out with your left foot and cross your right foot behind it. Continue moving in this lateral pattern for the desired amount of time or distance. Once you have completed this on one side, come back in the opposite direction. 

During this exercise, be sure to move your hips with the movement. Your arms can swing loosely by your sides. Be sure to keep your core muscles engaged throughout the exercise as well. You can do this by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Keep the chest upright and proud. 

We think the easiest way to learn this exercise is by watching a video tutorial, so be sure to scroll down the page. You will find a step-by-step video walkthrough of how to properly perform karaoke, so you can do it safely and effectively. 

The Benefits of Karaoke

Karaoke is used as a warm up exercise that can be used to prep and prime the muscles and central nervous system for more intense exercise. It helps to warm up the hips, glutes, quads, calves, and to some degree even the ab muscles. Not only that, but doing the karaoke movement can bring a little fun into your life. It can help you feel like a kid again, so have some fun with it! 

When you properly warm up your body, you are helping to lower your risk of injury. A good warm up routine will also increase your flexibility and range of motion. You can also specifically target the muscles that you plan to use during your workout. We recommend developing a foundational routine that hits all the big muscle groups. Then, depending on your workout of the day, you can add in specific warm up movements or mobility drills to target certain areas. Feel free to reference our comprehensive movement database to help with this.

Karaoke Modifications

To perform karaoke correctly requires a little bit of fancy footwork. We recommend working through this slowly at first to learn the steps. You can simply walk your feet in the pattern to get the footwork and coordination down pat. Once you feel confident in the correct steps, you can start to increase your speed. 

If balance is an issue, it may be helpful to extend your arms out to your sides at shoulder height. Remember to stay light on your feet and keep your weight on the balls of your feet.

Starting in a standing position, start moving sideways. Place one foot over the other and keep switching and repeating. Travel out (choose a distance) and return. Repeat for (however long).


Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE and the founder of MoveWell. Joel founded MoveWell after sustaining an injury while running an ultra marathon on every continent. Joel is writes about mobility, pain management and health and wellness overall.

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