Should I Warm Up Before My At-Home Workout?

Under Armour
Under Armour

Warmups have never really been my strong suit. Even in high-school gym, I bucked the idea of working out prior to my workout. Sure, I understood the why, but as far as the will I?, I simply wasn't sold. Unfortunately, this trend has followed me well into adulthood. Prior to the days of working out at home full-time, I had my trusty instructors to make sure I warmed up a bit before jumping into class. But now that I'm the one in charge of my Zoom workouts, let's just say I'm the roll-out-of-bed-and-press-play type.

According to NASM-CPT personal trainer and Crunch Fitness Manager Bente Smart, that's one habit I should break. "A proper warmup before any exercise will help you get the most out of every movement," she said. "The reality is warming up will help to mitigate the risk of injury, increase mobility, blood flow, and prime muscles for exercise," she said, adding exercise is not just about how many reps we do or our workout duration but also the quality of the actual movements, too.

If you're like me and prefer to toss on your go-to trainers and just get the work done, this warmup is for you. Smart shared a quick (yes, truly) full-body warmup that will only take five to 10 minutes and is ideal for any cardio or HIIT/strength training session.

Step 1. Run in place for 30 seconds

Step 2. Inch worms, repeat five times

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart (or wider depending on flexibility), and touch your hands to the floor directly in front of you without bending your knees.
  • Walk out on your hands into a plank position, and lower your body to the floor.
  • Push up through your hands into a Cobra position.
  • Hike your hips up toward the ceiling into a Downward Dog, and walk your hands back to feet and stand to repeat.

Step 3. Bodyweight squat, repeat 10 times

  • Lower yourself into a squat position without using any weights or resistance bands

Step 4. Small-to-large arm circles forward, repeat 10 times

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms outstretched to form a T-shape
  • Rotate your arms in a forward circular motion starting small and getting larger with your circle size

Step 5. Small-to-large arm circles backward, repeat 10 times

  • Repeat above, only this time, rotate the arms in a backward motion

Step 6. Lunge-to-torso rotation, repeat 10 times for five reps on each side

  • Stand with your arms out front at shoulder height
  • Lunge forward with your right leg, and rotate to the right from your torso
  • Return to standing
  • Switch sides and legs