Four moves everyone should be doing to boost mobility before a leg day workout, according to a trainer

Prevent injury and increase your flexibility with these exercises

Woman stretching leg before doing a workout
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A lot of people skip warm-ups, but dedicating a little bit of time to stretching and mobilizing your muscles and joints will improve your workout and decrease your risk of injury.

For workouts targeting the lower body, including the glutes, hamstrings, quads and hips, personal trainer Berenice Salazar has shared a simple but effective routine to get you warmed up.

You don't need any equipment and the sequence shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes.

The movements and stretches in this routine are dynamic, which means you'll be moving in and out of them rather than holding them. Dynamic stretching is best suited to warm-ups because it activates the muscles, as well as stretches them out.

Complete each exercise for 20 to 30 seconds, moving through them a couple of times if you can until your muscles feel looser.

Watch Berenice Salazar's lower-body warm-up

This warm-up is designed to target the muscles in the lower body activating the glutes, hips, adductors and hip flexors—all parts of the body you'll be moving during a lower-body workout.

Doing mobility work like this before exercising is one of the best ways to prevent injury and reduce muscle soreness. Your joints will feel looser, which is particularly important if you deal with stiffness, and it will improve blood flow to your muscles, making them ready for the work ahead, especially if you’re lifting weights.

Improving your mobility will support the way you move in everyday life too, particularly if you spend a lot of time sitting down and notice that the muscles and joints in your lower body—such as your hips—feel tight.

If you're looking for more mobility and flexibility tips, read through our round-up of the best hip stretches to do, or have a go at these yoga stretches for beginners

You don't need any equipment to do this routine, but having one of the best yoga mats on hand is useful if you want some extra cushioning

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.