It's time to talk warm-ups. It should go without saying, but you'd be surprised how many gym-goers skip them - they're the secret ingredient to effective workouts. If you're the type of person who is too lazy to even brush their teeth before bed, listen up. Stretching and warm-ups are just as important. Do them consistently.
So, let's get your joints moving with the best warm-up exercises for training that we know. Nothing too complicated here!
We'll dive into the best warm up exercises we know, with a quick explanation of how and why.
Make small circles with your arms, forward for 10, then backward for 10.
The Why: You're loosening up your arms and shoulders while increasing blood flow. Ideal for prepping your upper body for what comes next.
Neck Rolls – The Tension Reliever
Roll your head in a circular motion, five times clockwise, and then five counterclockwise.
The Why: This simple exercise helps relieve tension in your neck muscles and increases flexibility!
Shoulder Rolls – The Upper Body Warm-Up
Lift your shoulders up towards your ears, hold for a second, and then roll them forward and backward 10 times each way.
The Why: Shoulder rolls are excellent for reducing stiffness in your upper back and shoulders, crucial for exercises like bench presses or overhead lifts.
Wrist Circles – The Joint Protector
Rotate your wrists in small circles, five times clockwise and five times counterclockwise.
The Why: Wrist circles are vital for maintaining joint health, particularly if your workout involves gripping weights or bars. These circles improve flexibility and can reduce the risk of strain or injury, keeping your wrists supple and strong for a range of activities.
Ankle Circles - Ankle Mobility
Circle your ankles around five times clockwise and then counter-clockwise.
The Why: Though typically seen in running or jogging, ankle mobility and flexibility are critical, especially for barbell work such as squats.
Jumping Jacks - Full Body Start-Up
Do 10 jumping jacks, starting with your legs closed and hands down, then jumping out to form a star shape and back in again.
The Why: They get the heart pumping and muscles alive - an excellent start to any workout!
High Knees – The Energizer
After jumping jacks, transition to running in place, bringing your knees as high as you can towards your chest for 30 seconds.
The Why: Think of it as a light slap in the face to wake up your body and get ready for the workout ahead.
Butt Kicks – The Glute Awakener
Kick back as you run on the spot, trying to get your heel to your butt. You'll feel it through your quads.
The Why: They warm up your knees and increase your heart rate, preparing you for more intense activities.
Lunges - A Stabilizing Classic
Perform lunges by stepping forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are at 90 degrees, then alternating legs.
The Why: Engages multiple muscle groups and stabilizes your core, making it an excellent warm-up for leg day.
Squats - Ready for Leg Combat
Squats are a classic warm-up, especially if you’re heading into heavier leg workouts. Lower your hips as if sitting in a chair, then rise back up.
The Why: Squats are the ultimate full-body warm-up, preparing you for heavier lifting and explosive movements.
Time to Hit the Weights
Remember, a good warm-up is the cornerstone of a great workout session, so with these 10 exercises, you should be ready to roll.
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Power on and stay safe!