7 Essential Warm-Up Drills That Most Athletes Ignore

You may be overlooking these warm-up movements, but start using them to get your workout off to a great start.

Warming up is an often overlooked, but very important, part of a training session that should never be overlooked. When talking warm ups, dynamic is best, a combination of movements and mobility work aimed at prepping the muscles and nervous system for the work ahead. Below are seven movements and warm-up drills that you probably aren't doing, but you should be. Don't worry about doing all seven during one warm-up but think of these as a pool to pull from to include in your warm-ups.

1. World's Best Stretch


  • Get into the top of a push-up position, keeping a flat back, tight core and contracted glutes.
  • Step the right foot up and to the outside of the right hand.
  • Keeping the left hand on the ground, lift the right hand off the ground and bend the elbow slightly.
  • Reach the right elbow to the ground or as low as possible three times.
  • Reach the right hand to the sky as far you can, rotating the upper body.
  • Repeat the reach on the left side and return to the push up position. Do the same for the left side.

Why: This active mobility exercise will get you moving and hit many different parts of the body; the adductors of the legs, hip and t-spine (mid to upper back,) will all get a stretch and actively move through various ranges of motion.

2. Mini Band Box Walks


  • Put a small "mini band" around your ankles and bend your knees and hip slightly.
  • Keeping the toes straight ahead, step out your right foot laterally once and follow it up with the left foot.
  • Step your right foot forward followed by the left, making sure to keep the feet spread and tension on the band.
  • Step to the left, follow with the right, and finally step back with the left foot. At this point you should have completed a box shape.
  • Repeat.

Why: Mini bands are one of my favorite ways to warm up the hips and legs for a workout. Go slowly and control each step to make sure the hips are ready.

3. Turkish Get-Up

Turkish Get-Up


  • Start lying on your back, with a kettlebell in your right hand and your right knee bent with your knee pointed to the ceiling.
  • Your left leg should be angled out away from your body slightly, with the heel driven into the floor and a slight bend in the knee.
  • Keep the left arm flat on the ground by your side, pointed out away from your body at approximately the same angle as the left leg.
  • Keeping your eyes on the hand with the kettlebell in it, start the motion by rolling up to your left forearm, using your elbow as a pivot. Continue until you are resting completely on your left forearm.
  • Press up onto your left hand with the arm straight and lift the hips off the ground with left leg straight.
  • Slide the left leg under your hips and end on your left knee.
  • Stand completely and reverse the motion on the way down.

Why: Get ups are a great movement to hit every muscle group, a few reps a side will have you ready for your workout. Avoid going heavy when using them in a warm-up!

4. Band Pull Apart

Band Stretch


  • Hold a light band in a double-overhand grip about shoulder-width apart.
  • With arms straight or with a slight bend, pull the band apart. Squeeze the shoulder blades together and open the chest up as far as possible.

Why: This movement is a great way to open up the chest and strengthen the upper back postural muscles. It does wonders for warming up the upper back and getting you ready for any movements you have coming up.

5. Lunge Matrix

How: This is three lunge variations into one.

Forward Lunge with Rotation:

  • Start with the feet together, looking straight ahead.
  • Step forward into a lunge; front leg vertical, both legs pointed straight ahead, and chest up tall.
  • At the bottom of the lunge, keep the lower body locked in place and rotate the upper body to the right and left.
  • Return to the top and repeat on the opposite side.

Lateral Lunge with Reach

  • Start with the feet together, looking straight ahead.
  • Step to the side into a lateral lunge; hips back, chest up, toes straight ahead, and feet flat to the ground.
  • Stay in the lateral lunge, reach to your outside foot and reach up to the sky.
  • Return to the center and repeat on the opposite side.

Transitional Lunge

  • Start with the feet together, looking straight ahead.
  • Lift your right foot up and swing your right hip open, taking the foot behind you and to your right. Your hips should be approximately at 90 degrees.
  • With the front leg straight, bend the back knee and push the hips back.
  • Push off the back foot, return to the center.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

6. Back Extension


  • Set up in a 45-degree back extension machine with your feet pressed to the plate and hips on the pad.
  • Keeping a flat back, hinge and lower your upper body down, reverse the motion and return to the top. This can also be done on a glute-ham machine in the same way. Squeeze the glutes tight at the top and avoid over extending at the top of the movement.

Why: I love the back extension to help warm up the glutes, hamstrings and low back before any lower-back work. Use body weight and don't go crazy with the reps, and your posterior chain will be ready to rock your workout.

7. Facepulls


  • Set up on a set of suspension straps (a band or cable machine works also,) with arms outstretched in front of you as you lean back.
  • Keep the body flat and pull up, aiming your hands just to the sides of your cheeks. Elbows should be high during this movement and the focus should be on squeezing the upper back tight.

Why: The Facepull is one of the best options to strengthen the upper back and can be done every day, as the bodyweight Facepull is very low impact. These can do wonders to help warm up cranky shoulders before benching, squatting or any other upper-body movement.

Give those movements a shot in your warm-up to make sure you are ready! For more check out my Instagram or YouTube channel for daily tips, technique, and workouts.