Simple Warmup Routine

Prepare Effectively For Your Lifting Session

This simple warmup routine is one that I've used for years. It's not perfect, but it hits all the right notes for me to lift effectively. I'm not suggesting you should simply copy it, but that you could use it as a template to develop your own.

Most people agree, at least in theory, about the importance of warming up. Sadly, most people also don't have an established routine for preparing properly for lifting.

My simple warmup routine consists of three parts...

  • Dynamic shoulder movements, incorporating the major movements at the shoulder joint and thoracic spine rotation. This is a historic weakness for me and getting my shoulders warm is a priority.
  • Dynamic flexibility/mobility for shoulders, knees and hips.
  • Activation exercises focusing on the compound movement being trained that day.

The first might be considered a general warmup and the third is very specific.

Dynamic movements mean that you raise your heart rate, meaning it's unnecessary to spend 10 minutes on a bike or treadmill to do so.

Regardless of your areas of concern, developing a simple warmup routine that addresses those will help you to prepare for your workout without having to spend significant mental energy to do so.

How to do it...

Phase 1

1. Shoulder Circles Backwards (20) - internally and externally rotating the shoulder.

2. Shoulder Circles Forwards (20) - reaching forward slightly when the hand is in front of the body.

3. Dynamic Two-Handed Shoulder Flexion and Extension (20)

4. Ballistic Internal and External Rotation (20)

5. Ballistic Adduction and Abduction (20)

6. Kneeling Thoracic Rotation (5 each side) - one breath cycle per position

Phase 2

1. Kettlebell Halos (10 each direction)

2. Down Dog to Cobra (10) - one breath cycle per position

3. Overhead Squat (10)

Phase 3

Hinge/Deadlift Workout...

1. Modified Clamshells with Band, One Leg Straight (15 breath cycles each side)

2. Fire Hydrants with band (15 breath cycles per side)

Push Workout...

Based Wall Walks

Pull Workout...

Lower Trap Activation

Squat Workout...

Banded Bodyweight Squats

Overhead Press Workout...

Bottoms Up Press

Exercise Images

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Will Newton


In over twenty years of coaching, Will has coached everyone from absolute beginners to world champions. His interest in getting the best results for athletes who compete for the love of the sport, rather than as professionals, drives him to find the most effective ways to get results.

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