Warm-ups might be tedious, but they could help you avoid injury and potentially reduce your DOMs (delayed-onset muscle soreness). A good warm-up will also increase muscle activation and mobility, priming your body for its workout.
This 10-minute routine from personal trainer Alex Rice will limber up your shoulders, back and chest. It will also activate your core, ensuring that you have a strong and stable midline—essential for lifting weights.
You can do it as a warm-up before an upper-body session, or use it to get rid of tension after a long day at work.
All you need for this routine is a resistance band, or a rolled-up towel. If you're lacking this equipment, check out our guide to the best resistance bands.
Watch Alex Rice's upper-body warm-up
A photo posted by on
Complete 10 repetitions of each exercise, moving through the entire circuit two times round. Try not to rush. Instead, think about moving slowly and leaning into the challenging parts of the stretches to help you deal with stiffness.
It's important to stretch after your workout too. As your muscles will already be warm after exercise, you should be feeling a little more mobile during your cool down, so you can really test your flexibility.
Why you should warm-up properly
The main reason to do a warm-up is to improve your performance during your workout. Research has found it can improve your running pace, swim speed and cycling times, as long as you pick an appropriate warm-up.
Trainers also say that it can help with proprioception, which is your bodily awareness. For example, the downward dog to plank movement in this warm-up will activate your core, making it easier for you to 'switch on' those muscles in your workout.
Get the Fit&Well Newsletter
Start your week with achievable workout ideas, health tips and wellbeing advice in your inbox.
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.
Just one dumbbell and 20 minutes are all you need to train your whole body
Workout Pick up a dumbbell and try five to six of these compound exercises for a full-body workout
By Lou Mudge Published
I tried this six-minute mobility routine to open up my hips and it provided immediate relief
Mobility One writer tries to undo the damage of her desk job using this simple stretching routine
By Alice Porter Published