Are you taking the time to perform a proper warm up before your workout? If you said no or aren’t sure, this might be the best thing you read all day. Today I am going to show you how to properly warm up to help prevent injuries and maximize your results in the gym.

Do any of these warm ups sound familiar to you?

  • 5 minute jog on the treadmill
  • Static stretch holds
  • A few toe touches, arm circles before loading the bar
  • Warm up?  Ain’t no body got time for that!

aint nobody got time for that.jpg

If any of those sounded familiar I am sorry to say I have some bad news for you. Your warm up is leaving valuable gains on the table and vulnerable to injury.

I have been guilty of using the above warm ups in the past.  But over the years I have learned a better way to warm up that has left me feeling better in my workout with less far aches and pains.  And now I want to do the same for you.

Last week I gave your a easy to follow template to properly structure your workout.  The first piece of any workout needs to be your warm up.

I get it you don’t want to waste time on your warm up.  It’s not a huge calorie burner.  I mean what benefits can a warm up have any way?

A proper warm up does wonders.  Not only does it help us prevent injury but it,  wake up our brain, gets us into our warrior mindset to attack our workout, and primes the body for the movements to be performed in our workout.

The most time efficient way that covers all the things mentioned above is the active dynamic warmup. A good active dynamic warm up will:

  • Raises body temperature
  • Increase blood flow to muscles
  • Wakes up the brain
  • Fires up communication between the nerves and muscles
  • Raises heart rate
  • Lubricates joints
  • Prevent injuries
  • Mimics movements that will be performed in the workout
  • Allow you to check in with your body to see how you are feeling
  • Take between 10-15 minutes to do

There are a lot of different kinds of dynamic warm ups out there, and none are wrong as long as they do the things mentioned above and get the body moving in all directions.

For instance a distance runners warm up and a power lifters warm up will be different, just as their workout will be different.Your warm up should reflect your needs, goals and the style of workout.

Below is the warm up I use for my clients and my personal workout.  It is based off of Joe Defranco’s agile 8.

  1. Foam roll (calves, outside thigh, inside thigh, butt, upper back)
  2. 5 walkouts to spider man with a twist on each side and 10 calf peddles walk it back in
  3. 10x Roll over to a v-sit or banded hamstring stretch (up and down/ swing side to side)
  4. 10x Cat and camel
  5. 5x kneeling twists r/l
  6. 10 hip cirlces fwd and bwd
  7. 10x Groiners each side
  8. 5x Squat thrust to twist to hamstring stretch
  9. 10x Lunge rocks each side

Here is a different style warm up that I might use for an athlete before a game/practice.

10 yards each exercise

  1. 20 jumping jacks
  2. 20 seal jacks
  3. Inch worm
  4. 3 step toe touch
  5. 3 step quad pull
  6. Knee Pull
  7. Cradle
  8. lunge with a reach back
  9. lunge with a twist
  10. Side lunge with a rock and alternating sides
  11. over the fence/under the fence
  12. High knees
  13. Shuffle L
  14. Shuffle R
  15. Skips
  16. Broad Jump

These two warm ups, while different in style, both get the body moving in all directions.  In each warm up you can see how we get the body moving forward, backwards, side to side, and twist at the joints in both our lower and upper body.  This gets us prepared for any way we might move in our workout/practice.

Personally I like to do an extended warm up after. This gets more specific to things related to my workout that day, or extra work I feel I need to address sticky points I found in my warm up.

Things like crawls, jumps, mini band lateral/monster walks, light kettlebell swings and squats, banded pull a parts, and a variety of get ups are a few of my favorites.

Don’t be scared to develop your own workout routine.  You need to find one that addresses your needs.  You know you have a good warm up if it gets the body moving in all directions, works specific movements to your workout, and gets you to start breathing hard and sweating a little.

I would love to hear about your warm up routine or any fitness questions in the comments section below.

Looking to lose weight, get strong, as well as move and feel better?  I am looking to add a few more online and in person clients.  Fill out the information on this page and you will be contacted ASAP.

Steve is a NASM CPT and Crossfit Level 1 fitness coach who has a passion for building strength. He views strength building as the ultimate tool for weight loss, performance training, and rehab/prehab for injuries. Steve is currently studying to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. Steve runs his own concierge fitness coaching service in CT. Contact Steve at for training to have your questions answered.



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