The 10-Minute Warm-Up

Learn why it's essential to warm up before a workout, practice or game, and discover a simple-to-perform 10-minute warm-up routine.

Time for training is sometimes hard to come by, so you always want to maximize every second in the weight room. Time pressure causes many athletes to overlook the warm-up. This may be the biggest mistake you can make with your training. (Watch Adrian Gonzalez's Dynamic Warm-Up.)

A dynamic warm-up prepares your body for a training session or game. The exercises simulate more intense athletic movements to gradually warm your muscles, increase range of motion and blood flow, and activate your central nervous system. You will be able to perform at your max at the start of activity without the risk of injury from overexerting cold muscles. (See 5 Ways Athletes Screw Up Their Warm-Up.)

If you don't have a pre-workout routine, I recommend this 10-minute dynamic warm-up, which will prepare your entire body for intense exercise. It's easy to learn, requires no equipment and can be performed in a small space.

10-Minute Warm-Up

  • Jogging—2-3 minutes. Increases blood flow, elevates your heart rate and activates your muscles.
  • Jumping Jacksx 10-15. Further increases your heart rate with a higher intensity exercise more similar to how you use your body during a workout or game.
  • Horizontal and Forward Leg Swingx 10-15 each leg. Loosens the hips so you can apply full power when running and jumping. Helps you open up your hips to change directions easily.
  • Squat Toe touchesx 10-15. This complete lower-body movement further opens up your hips and stretches the back of your legs.
  • Supine Hip Bridgesx 10-15. Activates your glutes so you can apply max strength and power at the start of a workout or game.
  • Fire Hydrants—x 10-15 each side. Engages your hip abductors, which helps prevent knee injuries.
  • Iron Cross—x 10-15 each side. Stretches your low back, core rotators and hamstrings.
  • Lunges With Twist—x 10-15 each leg. Stretches your hip flexors, quads and core rotators.
  • Push-Upsx 10-15. Engages your chest and shoulder muscles.
  • Sit-Upsx 10-15. Engages your abs.
  • Supermansx 10-15. Engages your lower-back muscles.
  • Ballistic Movementsx 3-5. Prepares your body for the ballistic nature of a training session or game.

Co-authored by Keith Scruggs

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock