Training und Workouts

Full-body warm-up for home workouts


We’ve already discussed how important warm-ups are. As the name implies, the main purpose of a warm-up is to raise the internal temperature of the body and prepare it for the workout ahead. It’s also a great opportunity to get into the right mindset, focus on your tasks at hand and mentally prepare for the challenges of your workout.

Benefits of a warm-up:

-> Raises body temperature and increases blood flow to muscles thus reducing the chance of injury.

-> When your muscles are warmed up, their energy production increases, the time taken for a muscle to contract is reduced and oxygen delivery is superior.

-> Good warm-up increases your range of motion.

-> Prepares you mentally and primes your central nervous system for the subsequent activity.

-> Proper warm-up improves performance.

What should a warm-up involve?

In general, warm-ups should start with the larger muscle groups and move forward to smaller ones.

Although it’s advised that your warm-up is specifically tailored to your workout, it’s good to always warm up your whole body. For example, if you’re training legs, focus on your lower body but don’t ignore the rest of it.

Optimally, your warm-up will consist of two parts: 1) dynamic, low-intensity effort that will increase blood flow and warm up your joints and 2) a shorter, high-intensity part to activate your central nervous system and spur oxygen uptake.

Personally, I mostly stick to the same exercises in my warm-up, which I repeat until I feel ready to attack my workout. That’s also my best advice to you – listen to your body and how it feels – don’t cut your warm-up short if you’re not feeling ready to proceed to a more intense and prolonged activity that is your workout.

These warm-up exercises area great base to prepare you for any workout. If you’re doing a bodyweight workout – that’s pretty much enough.

Let’s say you’re doing an AMRAP workout that involves dumbbell squats and push press – after you’re done with the warm-up I’m sharing here, you should also do 2-3 rounds of a few reps (3-5) of squats and push press with less heavy dumbbells than the ones you’ll use in your workout.

Warm-up routine for home workouts:

1. Arm rotations

2. Torso rotations

3. Around-the-worlds

4. Windmills

5. Side to side hamstring stretch

6. Downward-facing dog to alternating lizard pose

7. Downward dog to forward dog

8. Deep Squat with knee touch-downs

9. Alternating lunges with torso rotation

10. Ankles and wrists warm-up

Do each exercise for 30 seconds and repeat the routine 2 times. Finish off with 10 burpees and/or 10 jumping jacks.

1. Arm rotations

Start with your arms straight and doing small circular movements while progressively widening the circles till full range of motion. Repeat with the arms moving the opposite direction.

Woman performing arm rotations exercise part of a warm-up routine for home workouts.

2. Torso Rotation

Start slowly and speed up the rotation progressively. Feet don’t move – they face forward, focus on rotating the torso. I tap the opposite shoulder at each rotation.

Woman performing torso rotations exercise part of a warm-up routine for home workouts.

3. Around-the-world

Okay, I know this looks funny, but it’s a really good warm-up exercise, I promise! Try to go as further as you can on each side, including when you’re at the top and trying to reach backward. You should feel that in your lats and hips. Switch direction after 10-15 seconds.

Woman performing around-the-world exercise part of a warm-up routine for home workouts.

4. Windmills

Start with a wider stance, bend over and with your arms straight touch the opposite foot one after another. Remember, that’s our warm-up, so we should keep things dynamic. As with the previous exercises, start slow and progressively speed up the movement.

Woman performing windmills exercise part of a warm-up routine for home workouts.

5. Side to side hamstring stretch

This is basically squatting while keeping one leg straight to the side. I’m gonna repeat myself here – these exercises are dynamic. As you can see – I keep switching sides and bouncing a bit on each side. It’s really about the way you feel and focusing on the stretch – no set rules.

Woman performing side to side hamstring stretches part of a warm-up routine for home workouts.

6. Downward-facing dog to alternating lizard pose

Again – there’s a lot of bouncing going on. Try to keep your back straight during the downward dog. I like to do these peddle movements with my feet to ease my hamstrings into the stretch and even do some ankle rotations to warm them up. Then step forward with the right foot, while the left knee drops on the ground. I use my right elbow to push my right knee outside for a further groin stretch. Do this for just a few seconds, go back to downward dog and repeat the same thing with the left foot forward.

Downward-facing dog to alternating lizard pose

7. Downward dog to forward dog

Here’s a smooth transition from the previous exercise -from downward dog going straight to forward dog. Don’t let your shoulders sag! I like to kinda shake my shoulders a bit while I’m in forward dog, just to readjust my spine. Hold each position for a few seconds and switch.

Downward dog to forward dog

8. Deep Squat with knee touch-downs

Get into a deep squat – feet pointing slightly out, back is straight. Get your elbows on the inside of each knee and use them to push the knees out for extra groin stretch. Hold this pose for 5 seconds and try to touch the ground with each knee, alternating them and return back to the squat.

Deep Squat with knee touch-downs warm-up exercise.

9. Alternating lunges with torso rotation

Stand tall and take a step forward going into a lunge. Keeping your back straight, rotate your torso to the side of the feet that’s forward. Do 5 to 10 lunges each side.

Alternating lunges with torso rotation

10. Ankles and wrists warm-up

Lastly, let’s pay some attention to our wrists and ankles. Just use rotational movements, switching direction every few seconds.

Ankles and wrists warm-up

There you go! You’re now ready to tackle your workout. If you’re still looking for one, check out this list of 20 bodyweight Crossfit workouts and you’ll certainly find some inspiration there.

Another bodyweight workout that’s been attracting a lot of attention lately is this bodyweight upper body workout. Let me know if you try it!



  1. Shana Seigler
    March 25, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    I need to do these during the day after sitting at a desk for hours.

    • Lily
      March 25, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      That is a great idea! Try to move every hour or every 2 hours and do different routines! 🙂

  2. Alison Kelly
    April 30, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you for including this, this seems totally approachable!

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