15 Easy Warm-Up Exercises Anyone Can Do

How often do you forget to warm-up?

I bet it happens frequently.


Warming up is more important than you may think. It prepares the body physically and mentally for the workout. Skipping warm up can lead to injuries or a low workout performance.

Warming Up Benefits

Before we look into the easy warm up exercises, here are the benefits of warming up:

  • Increases heartbeat gradually instead of raising it abruptly.
  • Improves blood circulation through the spine, muscles, joints and ligaments.
  • Reduces risk of injury.
  • Shifts the mind to workout mode.
  • Improves flexibility and range of motion.

3 Common Warm Up Mistakes To Avoid

You should always warm up regardless of the exercises you plan to do. But warming up is not enough, you have to do it right. Avoid these 3 common warm up mistakes.

1. Static Stretching

Holding a stretch for 10 or 20 seconds has its place but not at the start of a workout. Research1 shows that stretching cold muscles can cause muscle strain.


Do static stretching at the end of your workout – it helps restore muscle length and cool down the body. Not all stretching is bad, though, dynamic stretching can be an excellent way to warm up.

2. Overdoing Warm Up

You won’t enjoy the meal if you eat too much dessert. Well, it’s the same thing with exercise – a 20-minute warm up is exhausting and will lower your workout performance. Limit your warm-ups to a maximum of 10 minutes.


Avoid exhausting the core while warming up because we require core strength to perform different exercises.

3. Not Doing Full Body Warm Up

Just because you plan to do arm exercises2 doesn’t mean you should only warm up the arms. A full body warm will get more blood flowing through the joints and muscles. And more blood to the brain which will consequently boost your performance.


By the way, you don’t have to perform numerous exercises to get a full body warm up. Limit your warm exercises to 3 or 4.

15 Easy Warm-Up Exercises

Now that you know the warm up mistakes to avoid, let’s look into 15 easy warm-up exercises you can do.


1. Mountain climbers

Mountain climbers engage the arms, core, and lower body. This exercise can be done as a strength exercise. So use it as a warm-up exercise if you’re already in good shape. If you’re a beginner use it as a full body exercise3 in your routine.


Start with low intensity then gradually increase the intensity.

How To Perform

  • Get into the push ups/ straight arm plank position.
  • Pull in one knee close to the chest then kick it back to starting position and pull in the other knee. And keep alternating the legs.
  • Avoid bouncing the hips up and down while performing this exercise.

 2. Arm Circles

Arm circles are a great warm up exercise especially if you’re doing exercises like push ups and pull ups which use the shoulder-joint.

Arm circles can also be used by beginners to strengthen the shoulders.

How To Perform

  • Stand upright and spread the hands on the side and keep them straight.
  • Slowly start making clockwise circles with your arms. Then do anticlockwise circles. And keep alternating.
  • Don’t do this exercise with a lot of intensity.

 3. Lateral Steps And Arm Swings

This is quite a simple movement that will raise your heartbeat and get the blood flowing.

How To Perform

  • Stand with feet close together. Then step on the right side one foot and bring the left foot. Then step on the left side with the left foot then bring the right foot.
  • Keep stepping from side to side as you swing the arms back and forth.
  • Do this movement fast to get a good warm up.

4. Butt Kickers

Butt kickers will stretch the quadriceps and warm up the lower body. Add arm movement to warm up the upper body as well.

How To Perform

  • This is basically running on the spot. Just bring your heels as close to the butt as possible every time you lift a leg.
  • Swing your arms as if you’re sprinting to warm up the upper body.

5. Shadow Boxing

You don’t have to be into boxing to shadow box. Fighters are among the fittest athletes, you can’t go wrong by borrowing from them.

Shadow boxing is quite simple, just move around throwing punches in the air. Don’t get caught up in throwing punches and forget to move your legs. Make it more dramatic by dodging jabs from your imaginary opponent.

6. High Knee Pulls

This is a great exercise to warm up and stretch the hamstrings. Avoid the high knee pulls if you have bad knees.

How To Perform

  • Stand with feet close together then bring one knee up then grab it with both arms and pull it as close to the chest.
  • Release it, and bring it to the floor.
  • Now, lift the other foot and repeat the same movement.

 7. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks warm up the whole body and can also be used as a full body exercise by beginners.

How To Perform

  • Start with the feet close together and arms on the side.
  • Jump and spread our feet apart and clap over your head the same time.
  • Jump again and bring your feet together as you clap over your head. Repeat that movement.

 8. Leg Swings

Leg swings can come in handy when you’re doing lower body exercises. They’re actually quite simple.

How To Perform

  • Just swing one leg back and forth and then switch legs and swing the other.
  • Do sideways swings as well – put one leg out in front and swing it from left to right.
  • If you can’t stand on one foot hold on to a pool or a wall for support.

9. Jumping Rope

Jump rope4 warm-up will get your blood flowing to every joint and muscle in the body. If you don’t have a jump rope I highly recommend you buy one.

If you’ve never jumped rope before, here are jump rope variations5you can easily learn.

10. Crab Walk

This exercise loosens all joints in the body. It can also be used to strengthen the triceps and the core.

How To Perform

  • Sit on the floor, keep the knees bent and place your hands behind the body.
  • Lift your butt off the floor to support the body with your arms and feet.
  • Now crawl backwards using the arms and legs.
  • When you get to the wall crawl forward and repeat several times.

11. Squat Jump

Squat jump is good when you’re doing a leg workout. This is a high impact exercise so make low jumps.

How To Perform

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, then squat until the thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Quickly rise and jump and once you land on the floor squat again and repeat the movement.

12. Walking

If you’re going for a long run, walking for 5 minutes can actually warm up the body. If walking is too easy of an exercise for you, do light jogging.

13. Imitate Exercise Moves

Do movements that mimic the exercises you’ll perform in your routine.

Like easier variations of the exercises. For instance, if plan to do push ups, warm up with wall push ups. Squats – warm up with warm up half squats. Pull-ups – warm up with door knob pull ins. And so on and forth.

14. Hip Stretch With A Twist

This dynamic stretch will loosen the hips, hamstrings and the upper body. Do it at a fast pace to get a good warm up.

How To Perform

  •  Start in the push-up position. Pull in the right knee as close to the chest as possible.
  • Lift right arm off the floor and point it to the ceiling as you twist your torso to the right.
  • Now go back to push up position and repeat the movement with the left arm and foot.

 15. Side Lunge

The side lunge will warm up all lower body muscles. Adding the arm swings can warm up the upper body as well.

How To Perform

  •  Assume a stance wider than shoulder width.
  • Lean toward the left side by bending the left knee and then lean toward the right side and repeat the movement.
  • You can keep the arms bent and bring one arm up when you slide from one side to the other.

 Warm-Up Workout A

  • Arm circles 100 seconds
  • Jumping jacks 100 seconds
  • Mountain climbers 100 seconds

Warm-Up Workout B


  • Butt kickers 100 seconds
  • Shadow-boxing 100 seconds
  • Jump rope 200 seconds


Final Word

These exercises will get you ready for any workout. Always aim for 5 – 10-minute warm-ups, warming up longer than that will exhaust you before you start the workout.

There’s nothing wrong with repeating the same warm up over and over, so don’t bother doing different warms every workout.

What tricks do you use to make your warm up shorter?