As a seasoned fitness coach, I've noticed that some clients skip warming up before workouts, unaware that a few stretches can significantly reduce the risk of injuries.
To help my readers and clients understand its significance, I did a week of research, gathered what I knew about warm-up workouts, and discussed it with a physical therapist.
Together, we were able to come up with five of the most robust bodyweight dynamic warm-up workouts.
- Push-ups, bodyweight squats, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, and burpees are among the most effective dynamic warm-up exercises to do before starting your workout.
- A proper warm-up that involves moderately paced movements that work muscles to provide a functional stretch can prevent the risk of injury.
- Research from the National Institute of Health suggests that dynamic warm-ups enhance agility, speed, and overall performance across various sports while also reducing the risk of injuries.
- Through my years as a fitness trainer, I've learned that dynamic warm-ups enhance functional mobility and are best done before a workout, while static stretches are most beneficial afterward.
5 Best Bodyweight Dynamic Warm-up Workouts
Below are five examples of excellent dynamic warm-up workouts you should do before an actual workout.
Push-ups serve as both bodyweight and strength training or a warm-up, especially for experienced individuals. Beginners can experiment with inclination, benefiting upper body and core strength by targeting muscles in the arms, chest, shoulders, and core.
To perform a push-up:
- Start in an all-fours position.
- Position hands slightly wider than shoulder width and bend elbows slightly.
- Extend your legs behind, keeping them hip-width apart and balancing on your toes.
- Tighten your core and squeeze your shoulder blades.
- Bend your elbows until they reach a 90-degree angle.
- Push through your hands, straightening your elbows to return to the starting position.
2. Bodyweight Squats
Bodyweight squats involve shifting to a sitting position and standing up, pausing when your thighs are parallel to the ground. This dynamic exercise serves as an effective warm-up for leg day, targeting the lower body, including quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
To perform bodyweight squats:
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointed outwards, and arms at your side.
- Bend your knees to squat, lowering until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Slightly bend forward at your waist.
- While lowering, raise your arms to chest height.
- Press your heels and straighten your knees to return to the starting position.
3. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are an accessible warm-up suitable for all fitness levels. It involves alternating pulling one leg forward while in a plank position, targeting the arms, shoulders, quads, and core. Benefits include improved core strength, cardio endurance, and agility.
To perform mountain climbers:
- Begin in a plank position.
- Position hands at shoulder width apart, back flat, legs straight, and abs engaged.
- Alternate pulling your right and left knees towards your chest and back.
- Keep alternating as fast as you can.
4. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks are a simple warm-up, engaging vital muscles including glutes, quads, and hip flexors. before your workout.
To perform jumping jacks:
- Start with feet together, toes pointed outwards, and hands hanging by your side.
- Jump feet to the side while swinging arms straight out and raising them above your head.
- Land and return by jumping feet to the original position, swinging arms back to the side.
- Continue alternating.
Burpees involve a push-up and a jump, making them part of high-intensity training.
To perform burpees:
- Start standing with feet apart and arms by your side.
- Lean forward, dropping to a plank position with palms on the ground.
- Bend elbows to lower your body to the floor.
- Press the ground, straighten elbows to return to a high plank.
- Kick knees forward to a low squat position and stand up to the starting position.
- Jump while extending your arms upward.
As a fitness trainer, I've seen dynamic warm-up exercises such as hip circles, the world's greatest stretch, leg swings, and lateral reaches greatly improve the overall effectiveness of my clients' exercise routines.
Benefits of These Exercises
Below are the benefits associated with dynamic warm-up exercises.
1. Performance Enhancement
Warm-ups increase the heart rate, which increases body temperature and allows more oxygen to your muscles. The end result is performance enhancement, which is particularly helpful when doing strenuous strength training workouts.
2. Reduces Injury Risk
A study from BioMedCentral indicates that neuromuscular warm-ups, particularly those that require no additional equipment, can help prevent injuries .
3. Reduces Soreness
A general rule of thumb that I constantly advise clients to avoid exercising with sore muscles, as it can impact the workout. According to PubMed research, a proper warm-up helps by increasing body temperature and blood flow, reducing muscle soreness .
4. Improves Range of Motion
Dynamic warm-up workouts enhance your mobility and provide the necessary range of motion to perform resistance training workouts effectively.
Are Bodyweight Exercises Good for Warm-Ups?
Yes, bodyweight exercises can make excellent warm-ups by preparing the body for activity, enhancing flexibility, promoting functional mobility, and reducing stiffness through increased blood flow to prime muscles for workouts.
According to the National Institute of Health, ensuring your muscles are ready makes workouts more effective and can reduce the risk of injury to muscles and tendons .
As a fitness trainer, it's not just any warm-up that reduces the risk of injury, but moderately paced movements that engage and work the muscles to provide a functional stretch.
“Functional dynamic warm-up routine helps limit the risks of injury.”
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