24 Warm-Up and Mobility Exercises

Importance of Warm-Up for Physical Activity

Warm-up exercises are important to prepare the body for exercise. A proper warm-up increases the body temperature, circulation, core temperature, and joint range of motion. Research has found that individuals who warmed up before workouts, compared to those who did not, sustained fewer injuries and any injuries that occurred were less severe. Those who completed a warm-up engaged in “active” stretching and dynamic movements as opposed to static stretching.

A proper warm-up should last approximately 5-10 minutes and should include light aerobic activity and mobility exercises appropriate for the activity you are about to perform. The warm-up should consist of exercises that take the body through full range of motion starting with larger muscle groups first.  Incorporation of mobility exercises in a warm-up helps to optimize movement and performance by increasing the range of motion within the joints and surrounding muscles.

Example Warm-Up Exercises

  • Leg Swings
  • Body Weight Squats
  • Dynamic Lunges
  • Side to Side Lunges
  • Hip Circles
  • Shoulder Circles
  • Arm Swings
  • Torso Twist
  • Sun Salutation
  • Cat/Cow
  • Downward Facing Dog



Ingraham, P. (2015a, July 6). Warmups for strength, awareness, coordination. www.PainScience.com. https://www.painscience.com/biblio/warmups-that-improve-strength-awareness-and-neuromuscular-control-might-prevent-injury.html

North Carolina State University Department of Health and Exercise Studies. Health and Exercise Wellbeing (8th.ed.). Plymouth, MI: Hayden McNeil


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