Lower Body Warm-Up In A Hurry

Ever find yourself in a time crunch where have to "get in, get out" of the gym quickly and efficiently?

Yeah, me too.

Or what about coaching a group of individuals who, due to any number of reasons, only have 20-30 minutes with you to get some work done?

Do you spend twenty minutes on foam rolling and glute bridging, only to leave a mere five minutes for strength training?

Or, do you just hop under the bar and start squatting with reckless abandon?

Do you skip the weight room altogether?

None of the above are ideal options, so I thought I'd lay out a sample quick and effective plan of attack to prep for a lower-body-focused session when pressed for time. In fact, after performing the warm-up I'm about to share, I've had some of the best training sessions of my life.

Enter the most economical warm-up you've ever seen:

1. Pushup to Yoga Stretch Complex

Note: I usually go 10 pushups --> 5 Downward Dog --> 2 Spiderman to Glute Mob/side


2. Walking Knee Hug to Warrior Lunge Stretch (x5/side)


3. Side Plank Series (x :10 each)

For those who aren't ready for a single-leg+feet-elevated side plank, just do a normal side plank.

4. Goblet Squat (x8)

5. Kettlebell Swing (2x10-20)


6. Pick Up Something Heavy

For those of you who care about the "what" and "why" of the warm-up, here are just a few of the benefits you receive from each exercise.

As you'll see below, it's possible to hit a TON of good things in a matter of minutes when we pick some choice warm-up drills.

Pushup to Yoga Stretch Complex

- Core stability, scapular stabilization, and blood flow to the upper body
- Scapular upward rotation, some ankle dorsiflexion, and a slight stretch for the hamstrings
- T-Spine extension and rotation
- Pec length
- Adductor length and hip flexion ROM for the front leg, hip flexor length for rear leg
- A nice stretch into hip flexion+external rotation

Walking Knee Hug to Warrior Lunge Stretch

- Hip flexion with neutral spine
- Hip flexor length, core stability, and shoulder flexion ROM
- Separation of the left and right hip
- Ankle proprioception and hip+glute stability of the ground leg

Side Plank Series

- This will wake up the core musculature, not to mention frying the abductors and adductors when you transition from double-leg to single-leg support

Goblet Squat

- If you aren't aware of the myriad benefits this bad boy provides, I encourage you to step out from under the rock you've been living under.

KB Swing

- Glutes and hams, baby.
- Gets the heart rate going.
- Some excellent "waking up" of the posterior chain and parasympathetic nervous system. I always feel incredibly charged up and ready to go after doing some swings.
- Not to mention receiving a bit of hamstring length and priming the hip hinge pattern in general.

There you have it, all in about five minutes time required.

Sarah Walls

A little about me: I've worked in pretty much every corner of the fitness industry for about 10 years. I've had the great fortune of spending most of this time working with gifted athletes at every level. I've also had the great opportunity of designing and conducting research projects, writing occasionally for various publications and blogs, competing in powerlifting, and just generally having a killer time pursuing my passions wherever they may take me. Now I own two businesses: one is an athletic performance training company that I started in 2007 at age 26 and the other is a software company startup that was launched in 2014. Paramount to all the awesomeness of my professional career, is my family. My kids are a thrill and my husband continues to be my most critical and important supporter.