How to warm up before exercising

Warm up and stretch properly before exercising to prevent injury and make your workouts more effective.

This warm-up and stretching routine should take at least six minutes. Warm up for longer if you feel the need.

March on the spot – keep going for 2 minutes

Start off marching on the spot and then march forwards and backwards. Pump your arms up and down in rhythm with your steps, keeping the elbows bent and the fists soft. 

Heel digs – aim for 60 heel digs in 60 seconds

For heel digs, place alternate heels to the front, keeping the front foot pointing up, and punch out with each heel dig. Keep a slight bend in the supporting leg.

Knee lifts – aim for 30 knee lifts in 30 seconds

To do knee lifts, stand tall, bring up alternate knees to touch the opposite hand. Keep your abs tight and back straight. Keep a slight bend in the supporting leg.

Shoulder rolls – 2 sets of 10 repetitions

For shoulder rolls, keep marching on the spot. Roll your shoulders forwards five times and backwards five times. Let your arms hang loose by your sides.


Knee bends – 10 repetitions

To do knee bends, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands stretched out. Lower yourself no more than 10cm by bending your knees. Come up and repeat.


Quad stretch – hold for 6 to 10 seconds

To do a quad stretch, grasp your ankle and gently pull your heel up and back until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh. Stand tall, keep knees together and avoid leaning to the side. Keep a slight bend in the supporting leg. Use a wall for support. Repeat with other leg.


Hamstring stretch – hold for 6 to 10 seconds

To do a hamstring stretch, keep hips and shoulders straight, extend one leg out, foot facing up. Bend forwards until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Repeat with other leg.

Calf stretch – hold for 6 to 10 seconds

To do a calf stretch, step your right leg forward, keeping it bent and lean forwards slightly. Keep your left straight and try to lower the left heel to the ground. Repeat with other leg.

Chest stretch – hold for 6 to 10 seconds

Clasp hands behind your back with palms facing up. Pull hands down and try to bring shoulder blades together. Your chest should stick out. Don't arch your back.

Upper back stretch – hold for 6 to 10 seconds

To do an upper back stretch, round the back, extend arms in front of you. Clasp hands together, palms facing in. Drop your head. Focus on increasing the gap between your hands and chest, feeling your shoulders stretching across your back. 

Tricep stretch – hold for 6 to 10 seconds

For the tricep stretch, place your hand on your upper back with the elbow bend upwards. Use other hand to pull the elbow towards your head to feel the stretch. Don't hold the elbow joint and don't arch your back. Repeat with the other arm.



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