Here's the 5-Minute Yoga Warmup I Do Before a Run or Home CrossFit Workout
Lately with early morning home workouts, my mind and body are not quite ready for fast-paced warmup that involves typical moves like jumping jacks or high knees. I need to ease into the idea of moving, and using this yoga as the bridge to get me from "barely awake" to "time for burpees" has been key to preparing my body and getting my mind excited to exercise.
This five-minute yoga warmup involves a few dynamic mini yoga flows, designed to target the major muscle groups you'll be using whether you're going for a run or doing another type of cardio workout, or if you're strength training with weights or bodyweight moves. Try it before your next workout; it's about five minutes long depending on how fast you move between poses, but feel free to take longer or add on extra poses if you feel inspired. That's the point of this warmup — to get you excited to move!
I do this five-minute warmup in bare feet, so I can grip my yoga mat without slipping, and so I can really stretch and mobilize the muscles in my feet. Then I slip on my socks and sneakers and start my workout.
Wide Squat Reach
- Sit in a Wide Squat with your feet wider than hips-width distance apart.
- Lower your left arm out to the side, planting your palm if you can for stability.
- Reach your right arm into the air, gazing toward your lifted hand to encourage your spine to twist.
- Stay like this for one breath, then repeat on the other side for another breath.
- Come back to center, and walk your hands out in front of you, bowing your head and relaxing in Extended Wide Squat. This should take about 20 to 30 seconds.
Down Dog to Tuck-Toe Up Dog
- From Extended Wide Squat, walk your feet back coming into Downward Facing Dog with equal weight on the hands and feet. Relax the shoulders and head, and gaze at your navel as you take a couple breaths stretching the backs of the legs.
- As you inhale, shift weight forward into your hands as you scoop the chest between the hands, coming into Upward Facing Dog with the toes tucked.
- Exhale to lift the hips up, and press the chest back, returning to Down Dog.
- Flow between these postures three times, pausing in either pose to spend a little more time opening areas that are tight for you. This should take about 40 to 60 seconds.
Circling Three-Legged Down Dog
- From Down Dog, inhale to step both feet together and raise the right leg into the air, holding Three-Legged Dog. Circle the right foot in both directions, and point and flex the foot to loosen up the ankle joint.
- Take a breath in, and as you exhale, slowly lower the right foot toward the floor beside your left foot, but before it touches the ground, swing it back up to the right, making a circle and coming back to Three-Legged Dog.
- Repeat, circling the leg three times in each direction.
- Lower the right leg back to the floor, then raise the left leg into the air, repeating on this side. This should take you about a minute.
Arching Down Dog to Knee Into Chest
- Come back to Three-Legged Dog with the right leg in the air. Bend the knee, coming into Arching Three-Legged Dog.
- As you inhale, draw the knee forward into the chest, keeping the abs engaged and the shoulders directly over the wrists.
- Exhale to lift the knee back into Arching Three-Legged Dog.
- Continue flowing between these two poses two more times, then repeat on the left side three times. This should take about 40 to 60 seconds.
- Come back to Down Dog. Inhale to step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in, press into your feet, and lift your torso up.
- Raise your arms up with relaxed shoulders, press your palms together, and gaze up toward your hands.
- Exhale, then inhale to prepare for the next pose.
- From Warrior 1, exhale to extend your arms out in T-position as you rotate your torso to the left, coming into Warrior 2. Ideally your front thigh should be parallel to the ground and your right knee directly over your right ankle. Make sure your shoulders are stacked directly above your pelvis.
- Gaze past your right fingertips, inhale, then exhale to prepare for the next pose.
- From Warrior 2, inhale as you gently arch back and lower your left hand down, resting it on your left hip or the back of your left leg.
- Raise your right arm overhead, feeling the stretch through the right side of your body. Continue to lower your hips, pressing your front knee forward so it's directly over your right ankle.
- Exhale, then inhale to prepare for the vinyasa.
Vinyasa to Down Dog
- From Reverse Warrior, in one movement, exhale to lower your hands to the top of the mat coming into plank position, and bend the elbows into Chaturanga.
- Inhale to roll forward onto the tops of the feet, sweep the chest forward, and arch the spine, coming into Upward Facing Dog.
- Exhale as you press the hips back, coming into Downward Facing Dog.
- Inhale to step the left foot forward and repeat Warrior 1, Warrior 2, and Reverse Warrior on the left side.
- Take another vinyasa and repeat the Warrior sequence plus vinyasa on each side once more. This should take about two minutes.
Standing Forward Bend Clasped Elbows
- From Down Dog, walk the feet to the hands so they are hips-width distance apart. Slowly straighten the legs, keeping the head below the heart.
- Keep the legs relaxed, bending the knees slightly if you need to.
- Bend the arms, and take hold of opposite elbows.
- Keep your weight pressing forward in the toes as you enjoy this stretch for the lower back and hamstrings for the last 30 seconds. The slowly stand up and you're ready for your workout!