8 most effective warm-up exercises

Due to the many strains, we place our body under when we work-out, we each have our own set of niggles to deals with. What we don’t realise that a lot of the time adding an effective warm-up before we hit the grind will help loosen up our joints, get the heart pumping and can even help prevent injuries!

The importance of doing warm-up exercises

Apart from efficiently increasing blood your blood circulation throughout your body. warming up  actually helps with so much more:

  • Helps you maintain your breathing when working out by increasing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles.
  • Healthy Heart: Prepares your heart steadily for a rapid increase in activity.
  • Improves the quality of workout by prepping nerve-to muscle-pathways for the work that follows.
  • Joint Lubrication: promoting free movement.
  • Helps to mentally prepare you for the workout ahead which yields better performance!
  • Warms-up your muscles to promote lengthening and avoid taking strain or tearing during training.


What are the risks of not warming-up correctly?

We see many clients who train hard but don’t see the importance of stretching the or warming-up. As part of the rehabilitation program, we thoroughly on how to effectively warm-up and every single patient is always sorry they never started warming up sooner!

Failing to work up can result in a torn muscle, ligament or tendon or even decreased athletic performance.

8 dynamic warm-up exercises to get the best performance

At Bio Mechanix, we always recommend warming up using dynamic exercises. Performing stretches on cold muscles could cause more energy as these this type of stretching

promotes lengthening muscles (something that should be done when they are warmed up already!). Thus we recommend the following:

1. Light Jogging

Light jogging is just the thing to warm up those legs and arms and legs.

Start slowly with minimal movement and gradually add more effort as you feel you starting to warm-up. Don’t break out in a run, but maintain a slow steady pace.

⏱Duration: 1 to 2 mins.

2. Jog Backwards

Jogging backwards might sound strange but studies have shown that backward running forces the muscles to fire in a completely different pattern and thus provides an effective workout. Slowly job backwards making sure you don’t run into anything to get the blood pumping through your lower body.

⏱Duration: 1 to 2 mins.

3. High Knees Jog

Get your heart pumping with some high knee reps. High knees also work your calves, quads, hamstrings, shins, and your abdominal muscles!

How to:

  1. Stand on a flat surface & start jogging slowly.
  2. Begin lifting the alternative knees as high as possible without feeling uncomfortable.
  3. When ready, lift your knees to hip level but keep the core tight to support your back.

If this is too hard, do the same movement but exclude the running.

⏱Duration: 24 reps (12 on each side)

4. Butt Kicks Jog

Butt Kicks are a classic warm-up for runners, but we recommend this for all training. This cardio move strengthens the hamstrings, which is what helps increase acceleration and speed – thus every athlete can benefit from a few butt kicks.

How to:

  1. Start standing tall and cross hands over butt area.
  2. Bring one heel off the floor towards your glutes (try to touch hands)
  3. Alternate legs and move at steady motion.

You should feel this in the glutes and the back of the legs as you pull the heel in.

⏱Duration: 24 reps (12 on each side)

5. Carioca

“Carioca” also known as the Grapevine is much harder pronounce than it is to actually perform this warm-up exercise.

It’s basically a  cross-stepping movement that propels the body laterally and will help improve lateral movement, agility and footwork.

How to:

  1. Start by walking sideways, right foot over left then right foot behind the left.
  2. Gradually speed up and try and be as light on your feet as possible.
  3. Swop direction and repeat in the opposite side

⏱Duration: 12 reps x 4  (2 sets in each direction)

6. 3rd Step Kick-Up

3rd step kick-ups help warm up the Hamstrings, glutes and lower back – collectively making up the posterior chain.

How to:

  1. Start kicking low (alternating legs) and work your way higher with and every kick.
  2. Use your arms to help you balance.
  3. Every 3rd step means you’ll be alternating kicking legs

⏱Duration: 24 reps (12 on each side)

7. Sprint

There is nothing like a good old sprint to get put the cherry on top.

Finish off with a few quick sprints and you ready to get maximum performance out of your workout!

⏱Duration: 2 x 30 seconds.

What’s Your Favourite Warm-up?

Although these may be the most effective warm-ups to get your body into performance mode but they are definitely not the only ones!

If your favourite warm-up didn’t make the list, or if you have any question relating to warm-ups, we’d love to hear from you. Comment below or contact us here!

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