Health

8 Warm-Up Exercises You Aren't Doing But Totally Should

These are the moves everyone should be doing.

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Warming up before a workout is key for reducing injury. Personal trainer and nutritionist Albert Matheny says that warming up "helps make sure you don't load your joints, tendons, and ligaments too much, too soon." So we asked Matheny, founder of SoHo Strength Lab and Promix Nutrition, to come up with a list of warm-up exercises everyone should do before any type of workout. It's time to get your gym on.

1. Walkout

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How to do it: Bend at the waist and reach down to touch your toes. Keep your legs as straight as possible and slowly walk your hands out until you're in push-up position. Then walk your hands back to the starting position. Try to keep your hands as flat as possible on the ground. Complete 10 times.

2. Foot-to-Hand

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How to do it: Start in push-up position. Move your left foot to your hand, keeping your leg at a 90-degree angle. Then raise your left hand and reach up, looking at your fingertips, and come back down. Then repeat on the other side.

3. Band Pull-Apart

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How to do it: With your palms facing up, grip a band in your hands and extend your arms straight in front of you. Keep your shoulders dropped away from your ears, arms straight, and elbows extended while pulling outward. Think about trying to pinch your shoulder blades together. Then return to start position. Complete 15 times.

4. Bodyweight Squat

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How to do it: Stand up straight, with your feet between hip- and shoulder-width apart (or wider, if that's more comfortable) and toes pointed slightly outward. With your knees bent slightly, push your hips back and lower your body as if you were about to sit down. Squat as low as is comfortable without your lower back rounding.

Make sure you keep your chest tall and all of your weight in the middle of your feet (so you're not on your tippy toes or heels). Don't let your knees go beyond your toes, and always keep your knees in the same line as your toes (i.e. not angled in, if your toes are pointing slightly out). Reverse to get to the start position. Complete 10 times.

5. Arm Circles

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How to do it: Extend arms straight out to your sides and rotate in circles for 15 seconds, keeping them straight. Then repeat in the other direction.

6. Lat Stretch with Band

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How to do it: Reach your hand through the resistance band, twist the band over your wrist, and then grab the band. Let the band pull you (instead of you pulling at the band). Take a few steps back and sit into a squat. Keep your neck and body relaxed. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat with your other arm.

7. Pigeon

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How to do it: Start in the top of a push-up position. Bring your right knee to your chest. Keeping your knee at a 90-degree angle, slowly lean forward so your back is parallel to the floor. The goal is to keep your back from rounding (i.e. keep your chest up and reach your body forward over your knee). Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

8. Knee Across Chest

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How to do it: Lie on your back with your arms to your sides, palms facing down. Bring your right knee to your chest at a 90-degree angle. Twist at the waist and bring your knee across your chest to the left, and turn your head to the right. Use your right hand to gently hold your knee in position. Hold position for a few seconds, and reverse. Complete on each side five times.