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The 5-Minute Warm-Up You Need Before Any Workout

You know you need to warm up before pretty much every single workout—but how often do you actually do it? (And, no, walking on the treadmill for five minutes doesn't count.) It's important to do a total-body warm up to get blood flowing to your muscles before you go hard, as it helps decrease the risk of overuse injuries and addresses underlying muscle imbalances while enhancing the quality of your movements, according to trainer and exercise science professor Jessica Matthews. 

That's why we snagged Nike Master trainer Traci Copeland for this #FitnessFriday, and asked her to show us a workout warm-up that's perfect before anything, whether it be Spinning, boxing, or lifting heavy weights. Even better? You can crush it in five minutes flat. Complete the seven moves below for the time alloted, then go tackle your workout, knowing that your body is ~ready~.

Jump Rope: 30 seconds

Start with a regular two-footed jump, and as you get warm you can play around with other jump styles. (Here are some jump rope moves from Copeland that keep your feet guessing.)

Alternating Knee Hugs: 30 seconds

Stand with feet hip-width apart and pull one knee into chest. Keep shoulders back and core tight. Repeat, alternating sides. After a few repetitions on each side, repeat the motion but come onto the ball of the standing leg.  

Alternating Hamstring Stretch: 30 seconds

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Extend one leg straight in front, foot flexed and heel resting on the floor. Bend down to stretch hamstrings while sweeping arms down by outstretched foot and up over head. Repeat alternating sides. (You can do these in place, or while walking, if you have enough room.)

Walk-Out Planks: 45 seconds

Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend down to put palms on the floor, and walk hands forward until reaching a high plank position. Then walk hands back towards feet and return to standing. Repeat. 

Inner Thigh Stretch:  30 seconds

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bend the right knee, shift weight to the right, and place hands on right knee to stretch inner thigh muscles in left leg. Switch sides; repeat.

Butt Kicks: 30 seconds

High Knees: 30 seconds


Lauren Mazzo

Lauren Mazzo is a digital assistant editor for Shape and Fitness. She's an Ithaca College alumna, a Rochester, NY, native and an NYC transplant.  More →

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