Designing a Better Warm-up

Most people hit the treadmill, bike or other cardio equipment of choice for the first 10 minutes of their time in the gym. That time can be better utilized elsewhere.

Goals of a Warm-up –

  • Increase Core Body Temperature
  • Increase Heart Rate
  • Increase Respiration Rate
  • Shunts blood to muscles that will be used in the workout
  • Prepares Muscles and Connective Tissues through the full range-of-motion for the upcoming exercises.
  • Greases the Groove – of movements for that training session.

The standard treadmill warm-up only addresses the first three characteristics of a good warm-up. Below are a few ideas to address the full list of characteristics.

Movement Prep Warm-up

Ask a trainer to show you some of our favorite warm-up exercises including the hand walk forearm to instep, inverted toe touch, walking leg cradle, etc…  Finish the warm-up with a few line drills to address increasing core temperature, respiration and heart rates.

Total Body Warm-up

Pick one exercise from each of the following categories. Vertical Push, Vertical Pull, Horizontal Push, Horizontal Pull, Hip Extension, Squat. Quickly move thru the six movements in a circuit using light loads (or even just PVC) focusing on technique.


Vertical Push: Push Press w/ PVC

Vertical Pull: Assisted Pull-up

Horizontal Push: Push-up

Horizontal Pull: Ring Row

Hip Extension: Kettlebell Swings

Squat: Bodyweight Squats

Move through the circuit doing 10 to 15 reps of each move. Rest a minute or 2 then repeat the circuit two more times.

Weakness Warm-up

The warm-up is also a great time to address any weaknesses. Imagine a lottery machine that spits out ping pong balls with numbers. Now imagine replacing those numbers with skills/movements/exercises that we do at the gym.  What is the last ping-pong ball you would want to see pop out? Use your warm-up to eliminate that weakness.  For example, if it’s pull-ups – do a bunch of sets, but not to failure of pull-ups using a variety of grips and rep schemes. If you don’t know how to address that weakness, ask one of the trainers for a hand designing a warm-up for you.

Everyone has limited time in the gym. Use it wisely.