FitnessU: The best warm-ups for all workouts

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Fitting a workout into a busy schedule is a win in itself—so we don’t really blame you if you’re hopping right on the elliptical the moment you enter the gym. But if you’re skimping on your warm-up, you can put yourself at risk for injury and hinder your performance, research suggests. It’s important to properly prime your muscles before diving into any exercise, whether you’re doing heavy bench press sets or running a 5k.

Our trainer, Chris Winfield, takes you through several real-time warm-ups for three major muscle groups—upper body, core, and lower body—so you can kick-start your workout and avoid hurting yourself later (plus, they only take a few minutes each).

Want more warm-ups? The American Council on Exercise has your back…and hips, shoulders, knees, and more.

Upper body warm-up

Get the blood flowing in your shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, and back with these easy moves.

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Core warm-up

Check out these four ways to strengthen your abs, obliques, hip flexors, and lower back, including yoga presses, sit-ups, and more.

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Lower body warm-up

Prep your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and quads before squatting, lunging, or running on the treadmill.

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