What are Some Warm-Up Exercises?

N. Madison
N. Madison

Warm-up exercises can help a person prepare both physically and mentally for physical activity. They serve to lower a person's blood pressure, increase muscle pliability, improve the circulation of blood, and even lower the risk of injury. There are warm-up exercises for just about every part of your body.

There are warm-up exercises for just about every part of the body.
There are warm-up exercises for just about every part of the body.

Many people start their warm-up exercises with head circles. To perform them, tilt your head to one side, so that one of your ears is close to one of your shoulders. Then circle your head towards the front of your body, moving your head around until your other ear is near your opposite shoulder. Finally, circle your head back to the other side. Do these head circles about 10 times.

Warming up can prepare athletes mentally and physically for a workout.
Warming up can prepare athletes mentally and physically for a workout.

Arm circles also make good warm-up exercises. Start with your right arm extended, and then circle backward, keeping your palm outward and your thumb pointed towards the sky. Do this about 10 times and then switch to the other arm. Once you've performed backward arm circles with both arms, make forward arm circles, keeping your palms facing inward and your thumb pointed towards the ground. Repeat these warm-up exercises about 10 times as well.

Sit-ups are a good exercise to help people warm-up.
Sit-ups are a good exercise to help people warm-up.

Hip stretches also make good warm-up exercises. To perform them, stand up straight and move your right foot back about half a step. Then, bending your right knee, move your weight back to your left hip. Now, reach down your left leg, bending forward while keeping your leg straight. Hold this position for about 15 seconds, and then switch sides and repeat the exercise.

Side bends can help warm up the oblique muscles on the sides of the stomach and lower back.
Side bends can help warm up the oblique muscles on the sides of the stomach and lower back.

You can also use calf stretches as warm-up exercises. To perform them, stand near a wall, keeping about an arm's length away from it. Then lean towards the wall, using your arms to support yourself. Place your right leg forward, keeping your knee bent while holding your other leg back with its knee straight and its heel firmly on the ground. Move your hips forward until you feel a stretch, and hold the position for about 10 to 20 seconds before switching to the other leg.

You can also try leg extensions as warm-up exercises. To do them, stand in front of a stable chair and hold on with both hands. Move one of your legs forward, and then swing it backward and behind you. Bend a little at the knee as you do this. Try repeating these warm-up exercises about 10 times before switching legs.

Weightless squats can be performed as a warm-up exercise.
Weightless squats can be performed as a warm-up exercise.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments

latte31

@Moldova - I know what you mean. That used to happen to me whenever I lifted weights. I would always get a dull pain in the middle of by back that never really let me sleep. Now I use resistance bands and I don’t get the soreness that I used to get and it has also helped my flexibility because I stretch a lot before and after my workout.

Moldova

I never realized how important warm up exercises were until I forgot to warm up before a run and I developed pain in my hamstrings, shins, and calves.

I had to do a series of hamstring exercises that stretched my muscles in order to ease the pain a bit. I also used a little muscle rub which really seemed to help, but it is an uncomfortable feeling.

I usually have to stop running for a while until the pain subsides. I try to do a little swimming instead, but it does not make me feel the same way that running does. I know that if I did more yoga I would have a better level of flexibility and my muscles would not be so prone to injury.

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