< Blog < Stay Fit < Workouts < How to Warm Up Before Lifting Weights: 10-Minute Routine

How to Warm Up Before Lifting Weights: 10-Minute Routine

8 min read
How to Warm Up Before Lifting Weights
Heather Black post Reviewer Heather Black post Reviewer
Verified by Heather Black
Personal Trainer, Precision Nutrition Coach, and Health & Wellness Director of a chain of fitness centers

Want to boost your workouts and learn how to warm up your body before lifting? Try this 10-minute routine to prepare for lifting heavy 🔥

Table of Contents

Lifting weights is a great way to build lean muscle, improve strength, boost physical performance, and achieve the look you want. Pre-workout warm-ups before lifting weight safeguard your body against unnecessary injuries and help you burn additional calories while improving your movement form and function. Proper warm-ups are critical to setting yourself up for workout success. 

What makes a perfect pre-lifting warm-up?

Pre-workout warm-ups prime the mind and body for more strenuous exercise. Without question, you’ll feel more mentally and physically “awake” for a workout by warming up beforehand.

Most people will benefit from performing a complete body warm-up before each workout.

Of course, you can pay more attention to the upper or lower body depending on what lifts you’re doing that day.

For example, performing unloaded bodyweight squats as part of a warm-up can effectively prepare your body for barbell squats later. A gradual acclimation to the squat gives your muscles and central nervous system a chance to prepare for the loaded variation. You can take the same approach if the workout requires upper body training

Movement preparation drills, mobility exercises, and light cardio or unloaded bodyweight exercises make a valuable contribution to fitness results. 

The benefits of warming up before exercise

  • Prevents injury
  • Increases blood flow to muscles
  • Improves coordination
  • Builds flexibility and mobility
  • Prepares the mind
  • Burns additional calories

10-Minute Warm-Up Before Lifting Weights

A brief 10-minute warm-up can make a world of difference before an intense training session. As mentioned earlier, a warm-up has many physiological and mental benefits. 

10 minutes is more than enough time to engage in quality movement preparation. 

After completing the warm-up, you should have a light sweat going and feel ready to attack the workout. 

Here are some of the best warm-up exercises you can use during a pre-workout routine. Take notice of the technique coaching cues and suggested repetitions for each exercise.

Sumo Squat to Stand

Squatting is a critical movement pattern and one that humans must fight to preserve throughout life. Getting into and out of a squat has tremendous value, regardless of age. It keeps you able to perform everyday tasks that require lowering down to the floor and standing back up. 

Sumo Squat to Stand, man, how to warm up before lifting

The sumo squat to stand combination is a self-assisted squat where you actively pull yourself into the deepest possible position. When raising the hips, you’ll experience a stretch in the hamstrings and calves. 


  • From a standing position, flex forward and reach your hands to the floor. 
  • Touch your finger underneath the feet and grip the toes. 
  • Pull yourself into the deepest possible squat while keeping the chest and head tall. 
  • Raise the hips and straighten the knees.
  • Rinse and repeat.


2-3 sets of 8 reps

Elbow to Instep + T-Spine Rotation + Hamstring Stretch (aka: Spider-Man Stretch)

For good reason, some refer to this amazing combination as the world’s greatest stretch. With one giant step forward, placing the hand on the floor and sinking deep into an exaggerated lunge, a little twist and lifting of the hips, you’re: 

  • Lengthening the hip flexors
  • Mobilizing the hips and thoracic spine
  • Stretching the hamstrings
Elbow to Instep + T-Spine Rotation + Hamstring Stretch, spider man stretch, man, how to warm up before lifting


  • Take a long step forward and place the opposite hand on the floor while lowering the inside elbow to the instep of the lead foot. 
  • Raise, rotate, and reach the free hand to the ceiling. 
  • Move the hips back to straighten the front leg and stretch the hamstrings. 
  • Rinse and repeat.


1-2 sets of 6 reps per side

Inchworm to Push-Up

The inchworm to push-up exercise warms the upper body (shoulders, wrists, core, etc.) while reinforcing coordination and timing. This is another bodyweight-based exercise that can be performed in any environment, whether you have a lot of space to move in or very little.

Inchworm to Push-Up, woman, how to warm up before lifting


  • From a standing position, walk the hands out until you’re in a high plank position.
  • Perform a push-up.
  • Walk the hands back to the feet until you’re in the starting position.
  • You can perform this exercise in a traveling fashion by walking your feet up to your hands.


1-2 sets of 8 reps

Alternating Tabletop Reach

The alternating tabletop reach is a unique exercise because it activates, lengthens, and mobilizes many muscles and joints in the body. The supine/rotated body position offers a tremendous benefit and is great for most people since it’s gentle on the joints and involves no impact.

Alternating Tabletop Reach, man, how to warm up before lifting


  • Assume a crab-like position with the hands supporting behind the body, knees, and hips flexed. 
  • Raise the hips while reaching up and across the body diagonally. 
  • Hold the top position for a 2-3 second count. 
  • Alternate sides on each rep.


2-3 sets of 8 reps per side

Crawling Matrix

Crawling is a resourceful way to warm up the entire body, prime the nervous system, improve coordination, strengthen the shoulders, build the core, and deliver a healthy dose of mobility to joints like the shoulders and hips. 

The exercise has a fantastic transfer into real-world tasks and activities. The time needed to experience the benefits is minimal, and including a few minutes of dedicated crawling before a workout can add up over time.

Crawling Matrix, woman, how to warm up before lifting


  • Assume a quadruped crawling position with your feet, knees, and hands in contact with the floor.
  • Lift and hover the knees 1-2 inches above the floor. 
  • Crawl forward 3 feet, to the side 3 feet, backward 3 feet, and to the opposite side 3 feet. 
  • One time around, the “box” equals one repetition. 


1-2 sets of 6-8 reps

Spine Rotations

You’re as old as the health of your spine. Maintaining mobility and movement freedom at the spine is critical for athletics and even more important as we age. Humans tend to assume static positions more frequently as we age. Sitting is one of them. 

Spine rotations performed consistently will help loosen up the back, enhance the mind-body connection with important musculature surrounding the spine, and rebuild valuable movement capacity. 

Spine Rotations, ma, how to warm up before lifting


  • From a standing position, hug the arms across the chest and slowly flex the spine forward, finding your maximum range of motion.
  • Rotate to one side, into extension (leaning back), and eventually to the opposite side, seeking the most extensive controllable range of motion.

One time around equals one repetition. 


2-3 sets of 4 slow repetitions per side

Jumping Jack

Jumping jacks are a highly recognizable exercise that youngsters first learn in grade school gym class. Interestingly, jumping jacks are also a fantastic way to increase your core temperature using low-impact jumps and whole-body movement. A few different jumping jack variations can be used for a moderate duration of time, loosening up the joints and preparing the body for more intense work ahead.

Jumping Jack, women, how to warm up before lifting


  • Start with feet together, arms at the sides. 
  • Separate the legs and lift the arms overhead as you perform continuous 2-3 inch jumps. 

*The arms can also be kept at shoulder height, performing an open and closing type action. 


2 sets of 1-2 minutes of continuous jumping 

Single-Leg Deadlift with Reach

Performing exercises on one leg is fantastic for improving balance and symmetry in the body. The single-leg deadlift with reach is a hip-hinging movement performed one leg at a time. The benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Improving balance
  • Strengthening the muscles of the feet
  • Improving hamstring flexibility 
  • Building the posterior chain muscles
Single Leg Deadlift with Reach, woman, how to warm up before lifting


  • Keeping your chest up and your back flat, hinge forward as you raise one leg directly behind you.
  • Allow the chest to fall forward from a standing position while one leg lifts behind the body. 
  • At your maximum range of motion, reach the hands above the head and hold for 2-3 seconds. 
  • Return to the start position. 

*You can complete repetitions on each side or in an alternating fashion.


2-3 sets of 8 repetitions per side. 

Wrapping Up

One of the primary purposes of a warm-up before lifting is injury prevention. Use a muscle-building workout app to receive professional warm-ups prepared by trainers for any strength workout.

Workouts should enhance your physical function and appearance, not cause harm to your body. Preparing the body for the more aggressive muscular contraction associated with lifting weights is essential.

By staying dedicated to a simple yet effective 10-minute warm-up, you can mitigate injuries while getting maximum gain from your training.

Disclaimer This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

We recommend reading