FitnessU: The best warm-ups for all workouts

Fitting a workout into a busy schedule is a win in itself—so we don’t really blame you if you start out sprinting the moment you get on the field. But if you’re skimping on your warm-up, you can put yourself at risk for injury and hinder your performance, research suggests. It’s important to properly prime your muscles before diving into any exercise, whether you’re doing heavy bench press sets or running a 5k.

Our trainer, Chris Winfield takes you through real-time warm-ups for three major muscle groups—upper body, core, and lower body. Use these to kick-start your workout and avoid hurting yourself later (bonus, they only take a few minutes each).

Upper body warm-up

Get the blood flowing in your shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, and back with these easy moves.

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Core warm-up

Four ways to strengthen your abs, obliques, hip flexors, and lower back, including yoga presses, sit-ups, and more.

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Lower body warm-up

Prep your calves, ham­strings, glutes, and quads before squatting, lunging, or running on the treadmill.

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Want more warm-ups? The American Council on Exercise has your back…and hips, shoulders, knees, and more.

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