How Should You Warm Up Before a Workout?

Warming up before a workout is something that is important to do before any workout. There are plenty of benefits to it, but some people have many different warm-ups than others. Some people would warm up with just the exercise they’re doing in general. Others warm up doing static stretching, dynamic stretching, bodyweight exercises, etc. taking overall 30 – 40 minutes. So what is the right way to warm up? Before we get into that, let’s discuss some of the benefits of warming up before a workout. 

Benefits of Warming Up Before a Workout

The first thing is first, why should you warm-up before a workout in general? Well, it has plenty of benefits to it, but the main benefit, in my opinion, is that it leads to a lower risk of injury(1).

If you’ve been injured, you already know it’s something that can derail your progression overall. You can always overcome that injury and setback with the proper tools like BFR training but it still may take sometime before you’re back in the full swing of things. I’m always for lowering the risk of injury and warming up plays a big factor in that.

Another benefit of warming up is that it can help increase your range of motion. Personally, I have terrible mobility overall, it’s something I’m consistently working on to try and get better. I know for some exercises if I don’t have the proper range of motion I will most likely injure myself or not get the same benefit of the exercise. 

What’s the Goal of a Warm Up Before a Workout?

The main goal of a warm up is to get your heart rate up, get your blood and oxygen flowing more and increase your range of motion. Any time you’re warming up, you would want to check off those 3 boxes:

  • Is my heart rate at an elevated, but not super high level (around 100bpm, but will depend on your overall fitness level)
  • Do you feel like you’re warmer in general?
  • Are you feeling looser and will have the ability to perform your exercises without as much restriction?

Once those boxes are checked off you should be good to go.

How Should You Warm Up Before a Workout?

Like I mentioned before, people have varying different techniques to warming up. Some people spend up to 30 – 40 minutes warming up. Others will warm up with some compound movements with lightweight and move right into it. For example, some people will warm up for bench press, by just bench pressing the bar for a couple of sets at high reps and a slow tempo. 

What’s the best way for you to warm up though? Do you need a 30 minute warm up? or should you just be warming up with the exercise? Well, it depends.


When You Should Have a Longer Warm Up

There are cases you should potentially be warming up a bit longer to help decrease the risk of injury and to increase your range of motion.

Here is a perfect example for me. My lower body in particular is always fairly tight. Ankles, calves, hamstrings, quads, and hips. So if I just try warming up for Squats with just the bar, it’s usually not the best thing for me because I won’t even be able to squat the bar with proper form on my first couple of sets. Even if it does get better and I start loading the bar with weight, it still doesn’t feel quite right. Times I have tried to warm up with just the bar, I’ve actually ended up with some minor tweaks. So now, I’ll take some time and do some dynamic stretches for all of the above movements above until I feel like I’ve hit an adequate level that I can put the barbell on my back and squat without much issue. Usually, a warm up before squats takes me about 15 minutes. 

If you’re someone who struggles with mobility and range of motion with the exercises you’ll be hitting in the workout, it will more beneficial to have a longer warm up to decrease the risk of injury.

I do want to note a word of caution though. If you’re powerlifting or someone who’s trying to hit heavyweight, a long warm up can make you more fatigued overall and you may not be able to lift as much. Your performance may overall decrease that workout. In my opinion, I rather have decreased performance than an injury. 

When You Should Have a Shorter Warm Up

If you can perform the exercise as a warm up with a range of motion not being an issue, you can likely shorten your warm up to just the exercise and maybe some quick dynamic stretches.

Another example for myself is when I bench press. I don’t normally have to do too much for a bench press warm up. I’ll do some quick arm circles and jumping around for a couple of minutes and then I’ll warm up with the bar for the bench. I don’t normally have to do too much and it only takes about 10 minutes until I’m at my working set for bench press. (Working set meaning the intended weight for reps for the workout).

Compound vs Isometric Exercises

I’ve been talking mainly about compound movements (squat and bench press) but what happens if your workout consists of mainly isometric exercises like bicep curls and tricep kickbacks? You probably won’t need to warm up too long in cases like this. You most likely can hit those 3 checkboxes I mentioned in the ‘What’s the Goal of a Warm Up?’ section pretty fast or with just the exercises in general without risking many injuries. 

Do I Need to Warm Up for Every Exercise?

What happens if you’re doing multiple compound lifts in your workout? Do you need to warm up for every exercise? Most likely, no. You should be good to just warm up before the workout in general and then do warm up sets for your exercise. Again though, this is subjective to your body composition, and if you’re struggling with a range of motion in areas for your exercise that can potentially lead to injury.

For example, if I’m doing squat, bench, and deadlift on the same day. I’ll warm up for squat, by the time I get to the bench I’m only doing warm up sets with the bar. When I get to deadlifts though, I’ll just do some quick core exercises to get get some good core stability and get into it. 

Tips on Warming Up

Personally, my go-to warm ups focus on increasing range of motion in areas that are limited by doing dynamic stretches (only in severe cases, static stretching) and usually doing some stability work if I’m doing compound exercises like squats or deadlifts. Depending on the exercise though and your range of motion limitations, a dynamic stretch for you can just be doing warm up sets at a lightweight for the exercise. If you’re looking for a good leg day warm up, I highly recommend checking this out.

Final Thoughts

Long vs short warm ups before your workout are subjective and really depends on your body. For most, you may be able to do some dynamic stretches and move right into some warm up sets and get into your working sets. If you have more issues in your range of motion, you may need to warm up longer to target those nuance areas. Longer warm ups will tend to lead to more fatigue and overall lower performance if you’re lifting heavy weight. In my opinion, I will rather be moving less weight with better form than more weight with crappy form. 

As long as you’re able to hit an adequate range of motion for your lift and you generally have a higher than normal resting heart rate and you’re feeling warm and loose, you should be good to start your workout/exercise!


  1. Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels
  2. Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels


  1. LaBella CR, Huxford MR, Grissom J, Kim K, Peng J, Christoffel KK. Effect of Neuromuscular Warm-up on Injuries in Female Soccer and Basketball Athletes in Urban Public High SchoolsCluster Randomized Controlled TrialArch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(11):1033–1040. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.168

Exercises to Fix Your Posture

When people look at you, one of the first things they notice is your posture. Your posture can either give off the impression of someone who is confident and in charge or someone who is weak and a loser. It leaves a strong first impression on other people. For some people, good posture may be as simple putting their shoulders back and standing up straight. However, doing certain exercises can help you naturally improve your posture.


In today’s age it’s very easy for our posture to become quite poor. We are always staring down at our phones or we are hunched over on our computer all day. Our bodies will start to naturally fall into that position from doing these things on a daily basis, it’s bound to happen that our posture will start to suffer. Naturally, other things can contribute to poor posture as well, but from the causes mentioned here, daily stretches and exercises can minimize bad posture and promote natural good posture!


Our back/shoulders naturally start to take a more round shape when we look down at our phones and computers all day. Even though rounded shoulders and bad posture can easily be from our daily routine it can also be caused by muscular imbalances such as tight/overpowered chest and weak shoulders/back area.

Image from http://www.strengthsensei.com


We’ll perform a quick test that will determine if we have rounded shoulders or not. The first test to perform is the “pencil test”. To perform this test follow these steps:

  1. In each hand hold a pencil (pen or any stick for that matter)
  2. Relax both arms as if you’re just standing like your normally would.
  3. Note your hand position.

If the pencil is facing forward / thumbs point forward, then you pass the test! However, if the pencils are facing inward / the back of your hands are pointing forward then you have rounded shoulders.



If you have rounded shoulders it can be because of a tight chest, weak back, or a product of daily activities. In your workout routine, I would recommend including deadlifts, dumbbells, or machine rows. These exercises are more back dominant and can drastically improve your posture overall. You can also include some stretches to fix this issue as well.

Wall Angels
Requirements: A wall!
How to:

  1. Place your back up against a wall with your butt against the wall as well.
  2. Hold your hands up against the wall with your elbows and and back of your hand touching the wall. (As if a cop told you to put your hands up)
  3. While keeping your elbows and hands against the wall, bring your arms all the way up
  4. Bring your arms now back to the starting position and then repeat.

Do this for about 10 – 15 reps. I would also recommend doing this a 3 – 6 seconds up and 3 – 6 seconds down.

T Stretch
Requirements: Resistance Band

How to:

  1. Take a resistance band and hold it in both hands in front of you shoulder width apart and your thumbs pointing up.
  2. From there, slowly stretch the band out in front of you. With your thumbs pointing back. (Make sure you really feel the back of your shoulders contracting).
  3. Slowly retract back to the starting position and repeat

Do this for about 30 reps.

For both of these stretches, I would recommend incorporating them into your morning and night routine, and if you have time, during the afternoon. These moves need to be done consistently to get real success.


Anterior pelvic tilt, or forward hips, are the shortening of the hip flexors and the lengthening of the hip extensors. This problem is caused by sedentary lifestyle and can lead to other annoying issues down the line. Even though you should be able to easily look into a mirror and be able to tell if you have anterior pelvic tilt, you can do the Thomas Test.


You can have someone help you perform the Thomas Test, I recommend getting a physical therapist to test you but you can also do a self assessment on yourself.

Requirements: An elevated, flat surface (table).
Steps to perform:

  1. Lay down on the flat surface with your legs hanging off the edge.
  2. Pull one leg up to your chest.

If the opposing lower thigh (the leg you’re not pulling to your chest) does not touch the table then you have anterior pelvic tilt. Again, I do recommend getting a physical therapist to perform the test on you.


Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
How to:

  1. Place your right knee on the ground.
  2. Place your left leg at a 90 degree angle in front of you.
  3. Push your hips forward and hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
  4. Switch leg positions and repeat.

How to:

  1. Lay on your back with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor, your hands by your side.
  2. Elevate your hips up until your body has formed a straight line with no bending inwards on your hips.
  3. Hold for about 10 – 15 seconds

Repeat this exercise for about 8 – 12 reps.


Requirements: Resistance Band
How to:

  1. Place resistance band above your knees.
  2. Lay on your side with your knees bent at a 45 degree in front of you.
  3. Keeping your knees at a 45 degree angle, lift and rotate your top leg in an “opening” fashion, all the way until your knee is pointing up.
  4. Bring your knee back down

Perform 20-30 reps on both sides




Having better posture is not only good for confidence but it’s good for our health and can help us avoid injuries. Rounded shoulders and anterior pelvic tilt are some of the more common things people deal with in terms of having bad posture. Doing compound movements like squats and deadlifts can help with the issues listed above, however, to really conquer these issues, stretching needs to be included to target specific muscle groups not engaged in other exercises. For best results, incorporate these moves into your daily routine. Try to do them at least 2 times a day.

Fixing Tight Glutes

The glutes are some of the most powerful muscles we have and use. We usually tend to overlook these muscles in terms of mobility. However, tight glutes can cause plenty of issues down the line including, lower back pain, hamstring pain, and much more.

The Glutes

Your glutes are primarily made up of 3 different muscle groups. The gluteus medius, minimus, and gluteus maximus. You also have another muscle called the piriformis that is underneath the glute. When your glutes are immobile or weak it can cause a wide array of issues. Usually, a common issue lies at the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle helps with rotating the hip as well as stabilization in the hip joint. When the piriformis gets tight it can cause issues that are similar to the ones mentioned above. We are going to go over how to overcome some of these issues and increase mobility.

Stretches and Mobility Work for Tight Glutes

There are various movements you can do to increase mobility within your glute muscles. Here is a compiled list of stretches/techniques I use to help with my mobility.

SMR- Glutes

SMR (Self-myofascial release) is a form of therapy to help release muscle tightness by relaxing contracted muscles and improving blood circulation.

Requirements: Lacrosse Ball/Tennis Ball or Foam/Rumble Roller.
  1. Place the lacrosse ball or foam roller underneath your glute
  2. Place that same leg over the opposite knee.
  3. Roll for about 20 seconds
  4. Turn on the side of that same glute and roll for another 10 seconds
  5. Repeat on the opposite side

You should do this 2 times on each side. Totaling for 60 seconds on each side.

Supine Piriformis Stretch

Requirements: Ground. Mat (optional)
  1. Lay on the ground.
  2. Bend both knees.
  3. Place your left leg over your right knee.
  4. Wrap your hands around your right hamstring.
  5. Pull and hold for about 20 – 30 seconds.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

Tight Glutes - Supine Piriformis Stretch

Pigeon Pose

The pigeon pose is a great glute stretch but it’s also a great hip flexor stretch!

Requirements: Ground. Mat (optional)
  1. Start in a downward dog position.
  2. Raise your left leg up in the air and then swing it in front of you.
  3. When your left leg is coming in front of you rotate it towards your right hand.
  4. Place your right leg behind you.
  5. Lean over and hold the stretch for about 30-45 seconds.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

Pigeon Pose

Wikihow has a great tutorial on how to do this move!

Final Thoughts

I want to first say that if you’re experiencing any pain whatsoever you should visit your doctor/physician or a sports doctor. I’m not a doctor. These are just some helpful stretches and mobility work that I do that has helped me out in the past. If you’re experiencing any type of pain, you should go see a physician. 

If you’re looking for more superior glute exercises, no better workout than the squat. Check out my article on squat tips that may help alleviate your cause of tight glutes.