Warm-up exercises are essential for preparing the body for any physical activity, whether it be a workout, playing sports, or just being active in general. They help to gradually increase your heart rate and circulation, which will, in turn, help to loosen the joints and increase blood flow to the muscles. It’s a great start for a workout for beginners or someone at any fitness level.

warm up exercises for beginners

Beginner workout warm up

Here’s a list of warm-up exercises that are beginner-friendly:

  1. Marching in Place: Stand tall and bring your knees up one at a time, like you’re marching in place. Swing your arms naturally as you would while walking.
  2. Shoulder Circles: While standing, rotate your shoulders forward in big circles for 10-15 seconds, and then rotate them backward.
  3. Neck Tilts: Slowly tilt your head side to side and then forward and backward to loosen up the neck muscles.
  4. Arm Circles: Extend your arms out to the sides and make small circles with your shoulders, gradually increasing the size of the circles. Do this for 30 seconds in each direction.
  5. Hip Circles: Place your hands on your hips and rotate your hips in big circles, first in one direction, then in the other. Think hula hoop.
  6. Leg Swings: Hold onto a wall or chair for balance. Swing one leg forward and backward, keeping your posture upright. Repeat on the other leg.
  7. Jog in Place: Start with a light jog in place. Bring your knees up only slightly. This will help to increase your heart rate.
  8. Jumping Jacks: Do this classic exercise by jumping your feet out to the sides and raising your arms overhead, then jumping back to the starting position.
  9. Dynamic Chest Stretch: Stand with your arms out to the sides and your palms facing forward. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together, then release, repeating this motion.
  10. Butt Kicks: Jog in place, but instead of lifting your knees, try to kick your heels up towards your glutes.
  11. High Knees: Similar to marching in place, but bring your knees up higher and do it at a faster pace.
  12. Lunges: Take a large step forward with one leg, and lower your body until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Push back up and repeat with the other leg.
  13. Inchworms: Stand tall and then hinge at the hips to touch the ground. Walk your hands forward until you’re in a plank position, then walk them back to your feet and stand up.
  14. Bodyweight Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and do a squat by bending your knees and lowering your hips. Make sure your knees don’t go past your toes.
  15. Side Shuffles: Stand with feet hip-width apart, and then take a lateral step to the side, followed by your other foot. Repeat in the opposite direction.
a woman stretching her legs on a yoga mat in her living room floor

Remember to perform these warm up exercises at a comfortable pace and don’t overdo it, especially if you are a beginner. It’s important to listen to your body and avoid any movements that cause pain or discomfort.

Remember, before starting ANY kind of exercise, consult with your doctor to make sure they recommend it.

Treadmill warm up exercises

Warming up before using a treadmill is essential to prepare your muscles and joints for the activity and to prevent injury. Here’s a basic treadmill warm-up routine for beginners or for anyone looking to have a safe and effective workout:

  1. Start Off the Treadmill:
    • Arm Circles: Before hopping on the treadmill, do some arm circles to loosen up the shoulders. Make 10 circles forward and 10 circles backward.
    • Leg Swings: Hold onto something for balance, and swing one leg forward and back 10 times. Repeat with the other leg. This helps to loosen the hips and legs.
  2. Get on the Treadmill:
    • Brisk Walk: Start by walking at a slow pace (around 2-3 mph) for about 2 minutes. Gradually increase your speed to a brisk walk for another 3 minutes. This helps to get the blood flowing in your legs.
    • Gradual Jog: After brisk walking, slowly increase the speed until you are at a light jog. Continue for another 3-5 minutes. This further raises your heart rate and warms up your muscles.
    • Dynamic Stretches (Optional): If you are planning a very intense workout or a long run, you might want to pause the treadmill and do some dynamic stretches at this point. For example, you can do leg swings, high knees, or butt kicks beside the treadmill for an additional range of motion and flexibility.
  3. Ease Into Your Workout: After the warm-up, gradually increase the speed and incline (if using) to your desired workout intensity.
  4. Mind Your Form: Throughout your warm-up, be mindful of your form. Keep your shoulders relaxed, your back straight, and your arms moving naturally. Also, pay attention to your foot strike, ensuring you are not slamming your feet down.

Remember that warm up exercises are not just about going through the motions; it’s about preparing your body for the exercise ahead. Adjust this warm-up routine as needed depending on your fitness level and the intensity of your treadmill workout. Also, never skip the cool-down phase after your treadmill workout to help your body recover and prevent stiffness.

Circuit training warm up

Warming up before circuit training is crucial to prime your muscles and joints for the varied movements you’ll be performing. It helps to increase your heart rate, blood flow, and flexibility, reducing the risk of injury. Here’s a circuit training warm-up routine that targets multiple muscle groups:

  1. Jog in Place (2 minutes): Start with jogging in place to gradually increase your heart rate and get the blood flowing through your body.
  2. Jumping Jacks (1 minute): Perform jumping jacks to further raise your heart rate while also engaging your arms and legs.
  3. Dynamic Arm Circles (30 seconds each direction): Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms to the side and perform arm circles, first in one direction and then in the other. This loosens the shoulder joints.
  4. Leg Swings (10 reps each leg): Stand beside a wall for support, and swing one leg forward and backward. This will open up your hip joints. Switch legs.
  5. Bodyweight Squats (10 reps): Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and perform squats by bending your knees and lowering your hips. This will warm up the muscles in your legs and glutes.
  6. Lateral Lunges (5 reps each side): Take a big step to the side and bend the knee of the leg you stepped with, keeping the other leg straight. Push back to the starting position and switch sides. This warms up the inner thighs and improves lateral mobility.
  7. High Knees (30 seconds): Run in place, bringing your knees up high. This helps to raise your heart rate and warm up your hip flexors.
  8. Butt Kicks (30 seconds): Jog in place, but instead of lifting your knees, kick your heels up towards your glutes. This warms up the hamstrings.
  9. Inchworms (5 reps): Stand tall, then bend over and touch the ground. Walk your hands forward until you’re in a plank position, then walk them back toward your feet and stand up. This is good for the hamstrings and core.
  10. Shoulder Taps (10 reps each side): Get into a plank position. Tap your left shoulder with your right hand and then your right shoulder with your left hand. Keep your core tight.
  11. Torso Twists (10 reps each side): Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands on your hips. Rotate your torso to one side, and then the other. This helps loosen the muscles around your spine.
  12. Hip Circles (5 reps each direction): Stand with hands on hips. Rotate your hips in large circles, first in one direction, then the other.

After the warm-up exercises, you should feel ready and energized for the circuit training workout.

women warming up in the part stretching

Remember that warming up is important for everyone to avoid injury and muscle strain. For more beginner ideas, check these out:

And if you are local to Muskogee, check out our classes at Training Kamp!