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Personal Trainer Favorite Warm-ups

Personal Trainer Favorite Warm-upsIt’s difficult to find enough time to workout, so you may be tempted to skip your warm-up. But doing so puts you at risk for injuries that may leave you recuperating at home on the couch rather than in the gym training. The main purpose of warming up is to prepare your body and mind for strenuous activity. It only takes 5 minutes to perform a dynamic warm-up to prepare your body for your workout by helping to increase blood flow and muscle temperature.

If you have time, start with a general, overall warm-up. Five minutes of jogging, swimming, pedaling the stationary bike or skipping rope will get your heart pumping and blood flowing. Then move into your dynamic warm-up, if you are short on time, start with your dynamic warm-up. A good dynamic warm-up should include joint movement through the full range of motion and incorporate full body movements.

When warming up, sometimes old school, military-style calisthenics are best. Start with:

Jumping Jacks (side straddle hops) – Jumping Jacks are one of the best warm-up exercises, especially if you’re short on time. This relatively easy, full-body movement gets your joints moving, blood flowing and raises your core body temperature. Move immediately to…

Standard Push-Ups – A classic, start with your palms on the floor shoulder-width apart, keep your feet at hip distance, and tighten the core to keep your body in a straight line from head to heels. Bend your elbows until your chest touches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep the elbows tucked close to the body). Then move on to…

Lunges – Start with your hands on your hips and feet hip-width apart. Step off with your right leg forward and slowly lower body until left (back) knee is close to or just touching the floor. Pause briefly then return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg. As a variation, try stepping back into the lunge. Now move immediately to…

Bodyweight Squats – Stand with your feet parallel or slightly turned outwards. Slowly lower your butt down and back as though sitting in a chair until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your heels on the floor. Press through your heels to return to a standing position. Now…

Burpees – One of the most difficult but effective full-body exercises. Start in a low squat position with your hands on the floor. Now kick your feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return your feet toward your hands in the squat position. Then jump as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up position and repeat.

Five exercises in five minutes for a great full body warm-up. Stop looking at your warm-up as taking away from your workout, but rather, recognize that it’s maximizing the minimal time you have available. Your goal is to elevate your heart rate, put your muscles and joints through their full range of motion to warm them up and preparing your body for training.

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