Like letting a car run for a few minutes before you drive it in winter, warming up prior to a workout helps get your blood pumping. Studies also suggest that it can improve your performance during the workout that follows, and warmup exercises and stretches can help deter injury.
Ali Greenman, NASM- and ACE-certified personal trainer and founder of Final Straw Fitness, told POPSUGAR that a dynamic warmup is crucial before exercise. “A warmup is literally to elevate the temperature inside your body,” she said. “You get the blood flowing, internal reactions start to take place, and your body is priming itself for what is about to come.”
Greenman continued, “I think it’s important to start your warmup with a total-body approach, and once you feel a little looser and warm overall, then you can focus on movements you have on the agenda for the day.” For example, she said, if you plan on doing a lower-body workout, it would be a good idea, after a full-body warmup, to continue priming your muscles with bodyweight squat, lunge, and good morning.
Greenman said to save the static stretches that you hold for long periods of time for your cooldown — those won’t get your blood pumping. Instead, “be sure to make your warmup ‘dynamic,'” she advised. “This means moving in and out of positions after only a few seconds.” Ahead, check out quick full-body warmups you can do anywhere prior to working out. There’s one specific to running, routines that are just dynamic stretches, and others that include bodyweight or cardio exercises to get the muscles ready for whatever’s next.