Warming Up To Warm-Up Exercises

When you’re running late or having a lazy morning, skipping warm-ups before beginning your workout might seem pretty tempting. While it may not hinder some people with their workout, some others might feel the brunt of missing out on the warm-ups. So, here’s a quick guide to warm-up exercises that you should know before you get started on your daily exercises.

What Are Warm-ups?

As the name suggests, warm-ups are a set of movements or exercises that help prepare your body for a more skilled, intense workout of a longer duration. A good warm-up prepares your body physically and mentally for the upcoming heavy workout session, you might have planned.

Just as you’d have a small trial run before starting something big, warm-up exercises are the trials to an intense workout or training session. For an optimal workout with maximized performance, warm-ups are necessary since they essentially get your body geared up to perform its best. [1]

What Does A Good Warm-up Do For Your Body?

A good warm-up is an important part of your exercise routine as it essentially eases your body before you just launch yourself into your workout. Your warm-up need not be something very heavy. Even something like marching on the spot is enough to stimulate your body and mind.

Any good warm-up should have the following goals -

  • You should feel warmer:Your warm-up increases your body muscle temperature. And by warming up your muscles you’re essentially starting off certain chemical reactions for your muscles to slowly have energy. So even something like jogging on the spot can help play a role in lessening the off chance of an early muscle contraction.[2]
  • Your joints should move with ease:If you skip out on warm-ups, you might notice that your joints and muscles feel stiff for the first 30 mins of the workout. That would not be the case if you begin with a light warm-up. The muscle soreness in the joints is delayed with basic warm-ups and you can get through your main workout without snags! [3]
  • You should feel energized for your workout:Any good warm-up should leave you ready and energetic for the following workout. While exercising might seem like a more physical thing, it’s also about the mind. [4] The warm-ups should awaken you, and make you feel refreshed and ready to go for your more intense workout session. Good music is a great way to energize and amp your mood. So try out a great workout playlist to feel in the mood and motivated for your workout.

What Are The Benefits Of Warm-ups?

Warm-ups do a lot more than just warm your body and prepare you for an intense workout. Warming up before your workout has many benefits that will make you reconsider skipping this part of your exercise routine!

  1. Warm-ups lower the chance of sustaining an injury while working out since warm-ups relax your muscles and ready them for your main exercise. [5]
  2. It also increases the blood flow in your body, which enables more oxygen to reach your muscles and delivers important fuel (glucose) required for energy production. [6]
  3. Research even shows that warming up before your workout enhances your performance throughout your workout session. [7]
  4. Warm-ups have a meaningful effect on performance as they offer psychological stability, preparation, and confidence in performing your workout. [5]
  5. Finally, warm-ups increase your body’s flexibility making it easier for you to move and exercise well. [6]

Which Warm-up Is The Right One For You?

Well, there’s no easy answer to this. Warm-ups differ from person to person and from exercise to exercise. Depending on the kind of workout session you have planned for the day, your warm-up should target those specific joints and muscles to increase mobility and elasticity. A soccer player’s warm-up sets differ from that of a weight-lifter. The movements involved in soccer are very different from those required for weight lifting.

So based on your workout plans and goals, you’ll need to come up with a set of warm-ups that will get your muscles and joints mobile and prepare the correct body parts for the exercise.

Some Basic Warm-ups That You Can Try

Yes, warm-ups are subjective to your workout plan or the sport you play, but there are some basic warm-up exercises that can be employed across workouts and by anyone who exercises regularly.

Arm Rotations

Simple and basic, arm rotations help mobilize your arm joints and loosen your triceps.

Extend your arms to your sides, parallel to the ground with your palms facing downwards. Then rotate your arm in backward circles and then forward circles, for 20 to 30 seconds in both directions.

Hip Rotations

Another easy warm-up, hip rotations aid to increase the flexibility and mobility of your hips and pelvis.

Keep your feet apart and put your hands on your waist. Gently rotate your hips in a clockwise and counterclockwise motion. About 20 to 30 seconds in each direction. Then lift your hands up to your chest, with your palms facing downwards. And then rotate your upper body from left to right without moving your lower body.


Super versatile, squats can be done across a range of different workouts. They target your lower body muscles, especially your quads and hamstrings. For the first few squats, you can go easier by squatting halfway and then slowly increasing the difficulty.

Keep your feet apart with your toes facing slightly to the sides. Slowly lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the position for one breath, exhale and rise up. You can do about 12 to 15 squats, to begin with, and then increase the number if required.

Side Lunges

Another exercise for your lower body, legs, and hips. As with squats, you can begin easier by doing side lunges only going halfway down and slowly increasing the intensity.

Stand with your feet apart and push into your right leg while extending your left leg to the left side. Then begin squatting by bending your right leg and straightening your left leg. Hold this position and then slowly lift your hips and do the same on your left side by bending your left leg. You can do about 8 to 10 lunges and then increase the number gradually.

Jogging Leg Lifts

This warm-up is perfect for getting your heart rate up and improving your blood circulation throughout your body. You can start with a light, simple jog at a slow pace.

Once you’ve jogged for a while, lift your knees up towards your chest as you’re jogging. When you feel winded, return to slow jogging. You can continue this cycle for about 5 to 10 minutes.


Another classic exercise, pushups engage your core, upper body, and glutes. If you’re a beginner, you can do pushups on your knees and slowly transition into a classic pushup.

Place your palms flat on the floor, with your hands shoulder-width apart. Your back should be straight and parallel to the floor, with your legs stretched out behind you. Slowly lower your body until your chest or chin almost touches the ground. And then slowly push yourself up again. Continue this 8 to 10 times to begin and you can later increase the number of pushups.

Summing Up

Though they are neglected and easy to forget, warm-ups are the foundation of a good workout session. Your body and mind need some preparation before they engage in the strenuous training you might’ve planned the day before. warm-ups loosen your muscles, mobilize your joints, increase flexibility, and improve your performance for your main workout. So, next time don’t skip your warm-ups, and have a great workout session!


Is It Necessary To Warm-up Before Exercising?

Yes, warm-ups are an important part of your workout routine. Doing a warm-up essentially prepares your body and mind for the intense workout that will follow. It also increases your blood circulation, body temperature, muscle, and joint mobility, flexibility, and relaxes your muscles before your main workout.

What Are Some Warm-ups?

Simple warm-ups include light jogging, brisk walking, side lunges, squats, pushups, and jogging leg lifts, that can be done over a multitude of workout plans.

How Long Should A Warm-up Last?

Preferably, a warm-up should last for about 10 to 20 minutes. It depends on the type of workout you’re planning as well. If it is a low-intensity workout, then about 10 minutes of warm-up is enough, but for more intense workouts longer warm-ups are needed.

What Happens If You Don’t Warm-up Before Exercising?

If you exercise without warming up properly, there is a possibility of getting injured. You might sprain your muscles or ligaments, get cramps or sustain muscle soreness.