Is warming up really important?

Warm-ups are very important and far too often overlooked, which is a huge mistake. It is essential for everything and must not be skipped, especially if it’s early in the morning when your body is still stiff or after a long day sitting at your desk. Your body needs to be told that it will soon be performing more ranges of motion than before and that’s why you warm up. It also increases blood flow which improves oxygen circulation, allowing for more mobility.

Warming up can help increase flexibility and range of motion, leading to better performance. It will also lower your risk of injury due and you won’t be straining your body so much. Think of your un-warmed up muscles like a new elastic band. If you stretch the elastic band straight away, it won’t stretch very far and it is more likely to tier. But if you warm up the elastic a bit, it will be able to stretch much further and will be less likely to rip.

Aim to include a 5-10 minute warm-up before every workout session you have. If you have an intense workout day, you will probably want a longer session, between 15-20 minutes. When choosing what to do for your warm-up, try to focus on movements that you will emulate during your exercise routine. You can even do easier versions of the exercises that you want to perform, just make sure they are performed slower and/or with less weight than you would normally use.

You can even do some dynamic stretches too, but please don’t do static stretches. Dynamic stretches feel more like an exercise rather than a stretch and are often incorporated in workout routines themselves, such as lunges and squats. Notice how they have quite a lot of movement in them and how they help raise your heart rate. These stretches will increase your mobility and coordination, improving your workout performance.

This is most unlike static stretches. They are great to do as a cooling down routine, as they are often long-held poses that can sometimes be difficult to get into. These stretches need a whole warm-up themselves, which is why they are best performed at the very end of your training session.

Finally, warm-ups should ultimately increase your heart rate and your core temperature, so that you can begin to hear your breathing. Its job is to make sure you are gradually getting more mobile and warm so that you can perform your desired exercise without injuring yourself. So, warm-ups can even be as simple as a light jog or cycle.

If you need some help deciding what to do as a warm-up, down below are some of our top picks for you to try out and include in your routine:

LUNGES (Core, Glutes, Hamstring & Quads)


  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. With one leg, step in front of you leaving the other leg in its original position.
  3. Bend both knees to a 90-degree angle, so that the back knee almost touches the ground and the forward thigh is parallel to the floor.
  4. Once there, push up by squeezing your glutes and bring your forward leg back towards your starting position. Repeat this movement on the same leg or alternate legs.

Inhale: On your way down.

Exhale: Lift up.

PLANK (Focus: Arms, Chest & Core)


  1. Get down on your hands and knees, placing your hands shoulder-width apart.
  2. Move your feet back and straighten your legs so your whole body is in a straight line. Your arms should be vertical from the floor, not angled.
  3. Make sure your whole body is engaged (tensed), especially your core.
  4. Hold this position for as long as you can.

Inhale and exhale deeply during this exercise.

PRESS-UP (Focus: Chest, Core, Shoulders & Triceps)


  1. Get down on your hands and knees, placing your hands just outside your shoulder line.
  2. Move your feet back and straighten your legs so your whole body is in a straight line. Your arms should be vertical from the floor.
  3. Lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor, bending your arms at the elbow.
  4. Push your body back up, tightening your core and glutes for better stability.

Inhale: Lower down.

Exhale: Press up.

SQUATS (Glutes, Hamstrings & Quads)


  1. Stand straight and space your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Tighten your core and bend your knees like you are going to sit down. Make sure your back is kept straight and your arms are out in front of you or tucked in near your chest. Keep your knees just above your toes and your thighs should be parallel to the floor.
  3. Once you’re down, straighten your legs back up.

Inhale: Going down.

Exhale: Going up.

ARM CIRCLES (Biceps, Traps, Triceps & Shoulders)


  1. Stand up and lift your arms so that they are straight out on either side of you. Then slowly circle your arms outwards. Start with a small circle and gradually enlarge your circle. Continue for around 15-20 seconds.
  2. Once the 15-20 seconds is up, pause and begin circling your arms the other way, inwards. Starting small and then getting bigger. Continue this for 15-20 seconds.

Inhale and exhale deeply during this exercise.

ARM SWING (Arms, Back, Chest & Shoulders)


  1. Stand up and have your arms down beside you.
  2. Lift one (or both) arms up in front of you and then drop and swing it back behind you. You can also rotate your shoulders so that your arms can complete full circles.
  3. Do this warm-up both forward and backwards. To enhance your coordination skills, have your arms swinging/circling in opposite directions.

Inhale and exhale deeply during this exercise.

GATE OPENER (Adductors, Abductors, Glutes & Quads)


  1. Stand up straight, feet hip-width apart, and your arms by your side.
  2. Lift one leg up in front of you, bending the knee at a 90-degree, until the thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. Then rotate your lifted leg and bring it to the side of your body so that your knee is facing away from your side. Move your leg out as far as you can.
  4. Lower your leg back down to the starting position. With your knee and foot pointing away from the front of your body.

Inhale and exhale deeply during this exercise.

HEAD CIRCLES (Neck & Shoulders)


  1. Gently roll your head back as far as you can and then slowly circle your head to your shoulder and then let it drop down in front of you and lift it back up on your other shoulder until you return full circle.
  2. Do this movement slowly and controlled so you don’t get dizzy or have a headache. You should feel a light stretch along your neck as you perform this movement.

Inhale and exhale deeply during this exercise.

HIGH KNEES (Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Hip Flexors & Quads)


  1. Stand up straight and lift one leg up off the floor. Bend your leg at the knee and raise your thigh until it is parallel to the floor.
  2. Then jump up on your other leg and switch the position of your legs over. So that the leg that was raised and bent at the knee is now the leg that you are balancing on, and the leg that had just hopped on is now the one raised.
  3. Jump again and again, alternating the legs.
  4. For a more challenging warm-up, bring the knees even higher so that they almost reach your chest.
  5. You can perform this slowly at first, and when you have the rhythm and balance you can quicken up your pace.

Inhale: As you land on one leg.

Exhale: As you jump.

HIP SWIVELS (Abs & Hip Flexors)


  1. Sit down on the floor. Your knees should be bent and just outside shoulder-width apart with your soles on the floor. Your arm should be behind you as you lean on them a bit.
  2. Then drop your knees down to your left side. Your legs should now be in a position that has two right angles at both knee bend. The left leg calf and the right leg thigh should be parallel with each other.
  3. Once in that position, lift your legs up to its original position.
  4. Now drop down to your right side. This time your right leg calf should be parallel to your left leg thigh. Both should be pointing straight down, away from your body.
  5. Repeat at least 5 times each side.

Inhale and exhale deeply during this exercise.

JUMPING JACKS (Focus: Calves, Hamstrings, Quads & Shoulders)


  1. Stand up straight with your arms by your side and your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees and jump in the air as you lift your arms upwards and your legs should simultaneously spread out.
  3. Once you land, your body should be in an X position. Then jump up again and bring your arms down and legs together.
  4. Go slowly in the beginning and quicken your pace as you warm up.

Inhale: Before jump.

Exhale: As you jump.

LEG SWINGS (Calf, Glutes, Hamstrings & Quads))


  1. There are two ways that you can perform this warm up. One is side-to-side and the other is front-to-back.
  2. For stability hold onto a chair. If you are swinging side-to-side have the chair in front of you, as far as possible without having to lean forward too much. If you are performing the front-to-back swing have the chair on the side where the leg stays stationary.
  3. For the front-to-back swing, stand up straight.
  4. Now raise one leg as high as you can in front of you, trying to keep it as straight as possible though you can still bend the knee slightly.
  5. Once at the top let it drop down to the ground, though you should keep it up slightly so that it does not touch the floor.
  6. With the momentum of the leg fall, swing it behind you as far as you can.
  7. Swing your leg for about 30-60 seconds and then switch to the other leg.
  8. For a side-to-side swing, follow a similar procedure. Raising your leg as high to the side of you and then let it swing down so that it crosses over your other leg.
  9. For a more controlled swing, tense your glutes and core and use your glute muscles to do the leg raising and not the momentum.

Inhale: As you swing your leg up infront (front-to-back), or as your swing your leg down (side-to-side)

Exhale: As you lift your leg behind you (front-to-back), or as you swing your leg up and out (side-to-side)

SWINGING TOE TOUCHES (Lower Back & Hamstrings)


  1. Stand up straight with your arms up in the air.
  2. Then, swing your right leg forward, keeping both your legs and back straight.
  3. As you swing your right leg forward, bring your left arm down and try to touch your right toes. Keep your back straight and chest up as you perform this warm-up. If you can’t touch your toes then go as far as you can.
  4. Return to your starting position and raise your left leg up as you bring your right arm down.

Inhale: As you return to starting position.

Exhale: As you lift your leg up and bring it together with your opposite arm.



We are a retailer of strength and conditioning products, and we also write useful blogs to help and guide you, so you can train in confidence.

Find out more.