Prevent Injuries with Five-Minute Warmup

When you’re busy and in a hurry, it may seem minor to skip your warmup before working out. But exercising without a warmup is a huge no-no, according to most experts.

Your main goal in warming up is to use dynamic stretching to increase the body’s core temperature, mobility and muscle activation. This loosens the tissues around your joints and increases range of motion, allowing easier movements and preventing injury.

The number of different 5-minute warmups out there is huge, with most geared to the type of workout to come. For a general warmup, the movements below should take about 5 minutes. Keep up the pace, make sure to breathe and rest only shortly between sets.

Standing hip rotations, 10 each leg for 3 sets.

Stand tall, feet hip width apart. Bring your knee up hip width, then rotate your knee outward 90 degrees while standing straight. Hold a chair or wall for support if needed. Bring knee back to start and lower.

Forward and backward arm circles, 10 each for 3 sets.

Stand tall, lift arms out to your sides, straight and parallel to the floor. Begin by circling forward in large circles, circle backward in large circles, then return arms to your side.

10 cat-cow stretches.

Start on your hands and knees with a flat back. Arch your back raising your head toward the ceiling. Then chin to your chest, push away from the floor and hunch your back for one count.

15 squats.

Stand straight with feet hip-width apart. Lower down as if sitting in a chair. Hold for a few seconds, then stand up. If you need to, use a chair and sit each time before standing.

2 minutes jumping rope.