6 Great Bodyweight Exercises for Warming Up

Young man doing a forward lunge.

Tips on the perfect warm-up for your workout.
Warming up before your workout should be as natural as brushing your teeth. A proper warm-up routine provides a lot of benefits and makes your training more efficient.

Warming up before your workout…

  • gets you mentally and physically ready for your workout.
  • increases your heart rate, body temperature and blood flow (to just name three important factors).
  • reduces the risk of injury.
  • improves your balance, mobility, flexibility and stability during your workout.
  • has a positive influence on your posture and performance.

The optimal warm-up for you

Dynamic warm-up exercises are particularly effective for getting you ready to work out. Plus, since they work on your conditioning and coordination, they also give your workout that little extra kick.

Below you will find the best exercises for your warm-up routine. These are the same exercises I have my athletes do at the beginning of each training session. They shouldn’t take more than five minutes to complete.

I recommend doing three repetitions per exercise.

1. Sumo Squat

Starting position:
Stand with your feet hip or shoulder-width apart and turn your toes out about 15 degrees. Bend forward at the waist and grab your toes with your fingers. Push your hips back and keep your chest up.

Man who is doing a Sumo-Squat.

How to do the exercise:
Drop down into a deep squat while keeping your arms straight, your elbows inside your knees, your back flat and your chest up. Make sure to keep your weight on your heels.

Man who is doing a Sumo-Squat.

Man who is doing a Sumo-Squat.

2. Airplane pose (warrior III variation) plus standing knee and heel raise

Starting position:
Stand with your back straight and lift your left leg off the floor with your knee slightly bent. Engage your core by pulling in your abs. Draw your shoulder blades in toward your spine while pushing your shoulders down and back.

Man who is doing an Airplane pose.

How to do the exercise:
Lean forward and lift your left leg straight behind you until your upper body and your leg form a straight line. Keep your back straight and your right knee slightly bent. Your left hip should continue to face downward. Straighten back up to the starting position. Then raise your left knee to a 90-degree angle. Lift the heel of your right leg up and down every few seconds.

Man who is doing an Airplane pose.

Man who is doing an Airplane pose.

3. Forward lunge plus hamstring and adductor stretch

Starting position:
Step forward with your left leg into a forward lunge. Raise your right arm over your head. Your front knee should be above your heel. Do not let your back knee touch the ground.

Young man who is doing a Forward Lunge.

How to do the exercise:
Place your right hand on the ground parallel to your left foot. Bend your left elbow and try to touch the inside of your left ankle. Do not let your right knee touch the ground. Then place your left hand on the ground and extend one leg forward and one leg back. You should also pull the toes of your left foot towards your shin.

Young man who is doing a Forward Lunge.

Young man who is doing a Forward Lunge.

4. Backward lunge plus a torso twist and side bend

Starting position:
Step backwards with your right leg into a backward lunge. Let your arms hang at your sides.

Young man who is doing a Backward Lunge.

How to do the exercise:
Stretch your arms out to the side and turn your torso and head to the right and down. Reach your right hand back as far as you can toward your right foot. Turn your torso back to the starting position.

Young man who is doing a Backward Lunge.

Young man is doing a Backward lunge.

5. Inchworm plus prone hip flexor stretch (upward facing dog)

Starting position:
Start with your hands touching the floor and your legs as straight as possible.

Young man who is doing an Inchworm exercise.

How to do the exercise:
Keep your legs straight throughout the entire exercise. Walk your hands forward as far as you can. Press your hips toward the floor while maintaining as much arch in your back as possible.

Young man who is doing an Inchworm exercise.

Young man who is doing an Inchworm exercise.

Young man who is doing an Inchworm exercise

Push your buttocks in the air and keep your back straight. With your arms extended, walk backwards on your hands to the starting position.

Young man who is doing an Inchworm exercise.

Young man who is doing an Inchworm exercise.

6. Scorpion 1 and Scorpion 2

Starting position 1:
Lie on your stomach and stretch your arms out to the side at shoulder level.

Young man who is doing the Scorpion 1 exercise.

How to do Version 1:
Lift your left leg up into the air. Raise your hips and open them to the side. Now reach your left heel toward your right hand. Your shoulder girdle should maintain firm contact with the floor at all times. Return your leg to the starting position and repeat the same movement with your right leg.

Young man who is doing the Scorpion 1 exercise.

Young man who is doing the Scorpion 1 exercise.

Scorpion 2

Starting position 2:
Lie on your back and stretch your arms out to the side at shoulder level.

Young man who is doing the Scorpion 2 exercise.

How to do Version 2:
Lift your right leg up into the air and bring it across your body. Try to touch the toes of your right foot to the fingers of your left hand. Your shoulder blades should maintain firm contact with the floor at all times. Return your leg to the starting position and repeat the same movement with your left leg.

Young man who is doing the Scorpion 2 exercise.

Young man who is doing the Scorpion 2 exercise.

My tip: The main thing is to perform the exercises with precision and control. Speed doesn’t matter!

Sleep well, eat clean, train smart!

Your personal trainer and co@ch Sven

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Sven Friedrich Sven has been working as a personal trainer, conditioning coach, and sports therapist for many years. He is also an expert on fascia and nutrition. View all posts by Sven Friedrich »

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