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5 Great Exercises for Warm Up

It’s Motivational Monday and today I wanted to share with you some of my favourite exercises for warming up before a workout. Honestly, I never used to care about warming up. I’d just jump right into my workout. Not the best idea. However, now I’m a good girl and I always warm up!

Here are some reasons WHY we should warm up:
·    Increases body temperature
·    Increases heart rate and blood flow
·    Increases metabolic rate
·    Better functional movement
·    Prevents injuries
·    Increases muscle elasticity
·    Increases amount of synovial fluid in joints
·    Improve mental focus

When you’re warming up, make sure that you are DYNAMIC stretching. Generally, this is not the time to do static stretches…you can do those AFTER your workout when your body is warm, elastic, and more flexible. Doing static stretches before your workout can pull muscles, not to mention feel very uncomfortable…but we’ll talk about static stretching another post.

Maybe you’re like…”What? I don’t even know what the difference between dynamic and static stretching is.” Here’s the scoop. Dynamic stretching is a stretch WITH movement (think arm circles). In contrast, a static stretch involves no movement. Put another way, “stretching and holding still” (think reaching your toes). Dynamic stretching involves doing easy, light movements similar to the exercises you’ll do in your workout – getting your body moving and loosened up.

Here are some of my favourite warm up exercises…

Workout 01

Dynamic Chest Stretch

Start out by bringing each arm out to the front of the body. Keep arms straight and quickly bring them back as far as possible, bringing your shoulder blades closer together. Swing them back to starting position and repeat 5-10 times.

Works: rhomboids, chest, deltoids

Workout 02

Walking Lunge

Step one leg in front of you (about a meter) so that when you bring your back knee down it will not bring your front knee over your toes. Lower body so that the knee almost touches the floor. Make sure the front knee is about a 90 degree angle. Keep your core tight and engaged and your weight in the heel of your foot. Stand up and lunge forward with the opposite knee and continue 10-15 times.

Works: calves, hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes

Workout 03

Lying Hip Adductions

Lie on your side in a neutral position, with your hand folded under your head keeping your body aligned straight. Keep one leg stabilizing your body on the floor and lift your lower leg straight up several inches until you feel your hips begin tilting and you are losing your form a little bit. Gently bring leg back down and repeat 10-15 times. Repeat on your other side with the other leg.

Works: adductors, abs, glutes, quads, hamstrings

Workout 04

Standing Hip Abductions

Standing, stabilize yourself with a chair or the wall and bring your leg straight to your side as high as possible (while maintaining good form). Stabilize your core and keep your body anchored to the floor. Bring your leg down slowly and repeat for 10-15 times. Repeat with other leg. Note: You can also do this by raising your leg in front of you to work some different muscles.

Works: transverse abs, glutes, obliques

Workout 05


Lie on your mat, lift your head, and bring your arms straight out in front of you, lifting a few inches off the ground. At the same time, bring your legs straight back behind you and lift up a few inches as well. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds.

Works: quads, glutes, hamstrings, deltoids, trapezius

Aside from doing some of these type of stretches, for warming up, I also like to do about 10 minutes of light cardio like running, using the elliptical, or cycling.

Other great dynamic moves for warm up would be:

  • Jumping jacks and squat jacks
  • High knees and butt kicks
  • Arm circles, windmills, and shoulder rolls
  • Torso twists and side bends

Hope you’re having a fabulous Monday and don’t forget to warm up before your workout!

What’s your favourite warm up exercise?

Category: Fitness, Workouts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 8 comments »

8 Responses to “5 Great Exercises for Warm Up”

  1. Meredith @ DareYouTo

    I almost always do the arm swings for dynamic chest stretch. I’ll often do some butt-kicks and high knees, and some general twists just to get blood flowing. Your others look good too, I ought to switch it up! Thanks for sharing

  2. shannonmarie (rawdorable)

    Those are some good moves. I tend to warm up with arm circles, windmills, shoulder rolls, torso twists, side bends, etc., basically what you listed at the end of this post. I like to exercise first thing in the morning, and although I’m up and out of bed, I still need to wake my body up before I really get into my workout.

  3. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

    Love dynamic warm-ups. I do arm swings to open my shoulders and chest, twists and generally jumping around. Love how it wakes up my body and gets me ready to get moving.

  4. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    My warm up at home usually consists of a few rounds of sun salutations A and B. Gets the blood flowing and wakes me up. I’m a super early morning workout person so I need it!

  5. Kierston

    This reminds me to warm up more often! Thanks! :)

  6. Tamara

    Excellent ideas!
    I always like to teach my clients some non-treadmill warm up moves, just in case they decide to exercise away from the gym!

  7. Laura @ Mommy Run Fast

    Great tips! I do the arm swings and a few high knees or high kicks before a run, but that’s about it… I really should do more! I know how important it is…

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