A short warm-up is a must, even before the easiest several-minute home workout routine. Omitting this first element of a workout is the easiest way to an injury. Why is the warm-up so important? And how can we warm-up at home, if there’s no place for running? Here are some basic exercises which you can easily perform without leaving your room to warm-up the body before a workout.

Why the warm-up is a must

The purpose of warming-up exercises is to stimulate the blood circulation within the muscles in order to prepare them for physical effort. The muscles and tendons that aren’t properly warmed-up are brittle and not enough flexible, so they can be easily strained. To avoid that, do some cardio exercises as a warm-up before you start the proper workout routine. Here are some really simple ideas for warming-up exercises at home.

Basic warm-up exercises you can do at home

March in place

Everyone knows how to do this one – it’s perfect to begin with. You can start at a steady pace and speed up gradually. Lift your knees high, and remember that your arms should also work dynamically. The arms’ movements resemble those you naturally do as you run – but here try to keep them really dynamic for more efficient warm-up. Right leg knee up – left arm, left knee up – right arm.

Pillar skip in place

You can smoothly pass on to this one from marching – it will be even easier to do this this way, since you’ve already got into a rhythm. Basically, the movement is the same, but at the end you add a little, dynamic jump. Here’s how it looks like:

Running in place

No one said you need a lot of space for running – you can do it in place. Again, focus on the work of both the legs and the arms.

Skip A

Also can be done without any linear movement. Just pass on from the running to skip A, which is basically lifting your knees high as you run. The arms are even more important here than in running. This one is going to raise your heart rate significantly, which is what the whole warm-up is about.

Jumping jacks

Not only a great and well-known warming-up exercise, but also one that improves body coordination. Start standing upright with your feet together and the arms down along the torso. As you jump, the feet go sideways and the arms go sideways up. Then you bounce back to the starting position.

Jumping oblique twists

Known also as a cardio exercise for the side abdominals. Start standing upright with your feet together and your arms lifted to the level of your chest – they may be straight put sideways, or bent with the hands in front of the chest. As you do little jumps, twist your torso left and right.

Jumping rope

May be a whole workout by itself, but in smaller doses still creates a hundreds of options for in-place warming-up exercises. In the short video below, there’s only 23 of them. Pick several favourite styles for yourself, for instance: regular jumping with both legs together, alternating legs, or one leg hops. Perform each style for 30 seconds to several minutes. There’s probably nothing better for raising the heart rate.

An example of a 3-minute home warm-up routine

  1. March in place 30 sec.
  2. Pillar skip in place 30 sec.
  3. Running in place 30 sec.
  4. Skip a in place 30 sec.
  5. Jumping jacks 30 sec.
  6. Jumping oblique twists 30 sec.
  7. Rope: regular jumping (both legs together) 30 sec.
  8. Rope: alternating legs 30.sec
  9. Rope: one leg hop – right 30.sec
  10. Rope: one-leg hop – left 30 sec.

The 3 minutes is a minimum. You can make the warm-up longer by extending the intervals for each exercise to 45 seconds, a minute or more – it’s up to you. You can take short (5-15 seconds) breaks between the intervals, especially if they’re longer than a minute. Change the order of exercises, change the exercises if you want to. All you need is to be well warmed-up as you are about to start the proper workout.

After the general warming-up exercises, it’s also recommended to do some dynamic stretching exercises. Read our up-coming articles to get some ideas for those, too.

About Cathy Patalas

The sports soul and the alleged specialist in words of 52Challenges.com. The main 52C Blog writer. A diligent student at the English Department of the University of Wroclaw, majoring in applied linguistics. An ex-acrobat and aerobic gymnast with the 13-year long experience in „training for winning”. A multiple medallist of Poland nationals in acrobatic gymnastics, and academic nationals in aerobic gymnastics. A fan of gymnastics of every existing type. Personally, finds making everyday choices in a healthy lifestyle even more demanding a challenge than making everyday sacrifices in the athlete’s lifestyle.