This 5-Minute Warm-Up Routine - Life Changing!
A good warmup always precedes a good workout. Whether you like it or not, getting warm is a key part of improving your strength, mobility, and overall fitness. This complete warm-up routine only takes five minutes — that’s all you need to drastically improve your workout.
Related: How many reps will build muscle?
Flow through 10 reps of each of the following warm-up movements. Complete two to four rounds, or until you feel ready to attack the weights.
Also known as: spinal flexion/extension
Cat-cow pose is a great starting place for any warmup, as it helps to loosen up your neck, back, chest, and shoulders.
How to do cat-cow pose:
- Start on all fours on the ground. Stack your shoulders, elbows, and wrists so your arms make a straight line perpendicular to the ground. Stack your hips over your knees to make your thighs perpendicular to the ground.
- Engage your core and find your neutral spine position.
- Inhale and round your spine, tucking your chin and pressing your palms into the ground.
- Once you reach your end range of motion in cat pose, exhale and begin to arch your back. Lift your chest and chin high, keeping your palms pressed into the ground.
- When you reach your end range of motion, return to your neutral position and reset for another rep.
Also known as: squat-to-stand mobility
Bootstrappers should be a go-to warm-up movement for anyone who struggles with hip or spinal mobility in the squat. In addition to priming the squat position, bootstrappers prepare you to engage your core for weighted movements.
How to do bootstrappers:
- Start by standing with your feet about hip-width apart.
- Bend down to touch your toes. Keep your spine as neutral as possible (don’t round) and clasp your fingers around the toe box of your shoe. Hang out in this position for a second.
- Still holding onto your toes, slowly lower yourself into a squat. Bring the crown of your head to the sky and look forward. Hold this bottom position for a few seconds.
- Maintain the hold on your toes and send your hips upward so you return to a forward fold.
Downward Dog to Cobra
Also known as: divers
Downward dog to cobra combines two classic yoga movements that prime and prep your shoulders, as well as mobilize your upper spine and ankles.
How to do downward dog to cobra:
- Start in the downward dog position. Your body should make a triangular shape with the ground.
- Bend your elbows to slowly lower your head to the ground. Just before your head touches the ground, extend your arms and push your torso up.
- Finish with your back arched, arms fully extended, and chest high.
- To get back into downward dog, straighten your spine, send your hips upward, and press your head through the window of your arms.
Also known as: deep side lunges
For those looking to maximize hip and ankle mobility, cossack squats are a must-have in any warm-up routine. cossack squats also build your single-leg strength and prepare your knees for the stress of a loaded movement.
How to do cossack squats:
- Start by standing with a wide stance, as if you were preparing to perform a sumo deadlift. Keep your toes forward or pointed out just slightly.
- Lower to one side, dropping into the squat as deeply as you can, breaking the parallel plane if possible. As you descend, keep the foot of your working leg planted firmly, but raise onto the heel of your non-working foot. The toes of your non-working foot should point to the sky.
- Pause and then push back to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite leg.
Forward Fold With Spinal Rotation
Also known as: folded windmill
Forward folds alone are great for improving flexibility but adding a spinal rotation into the mix is better for improving mobility (yes, there’s a difference).
How to do forward folds with spinal rotations:
- Stand with your feet together.
- Hinge at the hips and reach down to touch your toes, or as far down your leg as you can. It’s fine to grab your calves or ankles.
- Anchor your hands beneath your toes or around your legs. Take a deep breath.
- Exhale as you lift your right hand to the sky, following it with your gaze. Twist until you feel slight tension in your spine, keeping your left hand anchored to your body.
- Inhale when you reach your end range of motion. Then, exhale and bring your right hand back to center.
- Repeat on the opposite side.