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How To Warm Up For Squats – Do This Now To Lift More And Prevent Injuries

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The squats can be the most rewarding, but also one of the most dangerous muscle building exercise you can do. The reason for this is because during the squat you use various muscles groups to perform the exercise. Therefore, a good warm up is extremely important and necessary before you start training. Not only will a good and efficient warm up prevent the risk of injuring yourself, but it can also help you lift more while improving your training results.

Without the proper warm up you may suffer injuries to your lower back, hips and knees so any warm up you do must be intensive. Do not try and spare yourself for your workout. By the end of your warm up you should have already started to break a sweat. So for your next squatting session perform this short warm-up shown below (should last no longer than 10 minutes).

4 Stretches To Improve Mobility And Prevent Injuries:

1. Floor Slides

Lay on your backside on a floor mat and press your elbows, hands and wrists into the floor. Then as your pressing against the floor slide your shoulders up and down. This will open up the chest and stretch your back. As your mobility improves take away the floor mats. Repeat this 15 times.

floor slides

2. Standing Toe Touches

Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and keep your knees straight throughout, this stretches your hamstrings and hips. When your in position bend to your right leg and touch your toes (if you cant touch your toes get as far down as possible) then bend to your left leg and do the same. Repeat this 20 times, 10 for each leg.

toe touches

3. Torso Turns

Stand with your legs straight and feet shoulder width apart. Start by bending forward so that your torso is parallel to the ground and straighten your arms out to each side parallel to your shoulder. Now turn your torso (chest) as far to the right/left as possible when doing this stretch and turn your head to look at the hand in the air. This mobilizes your torso and helps prepare your abs for heavier squat loads. Repeat this 20 times, 10 for each leg.

torso turns


4. Prayer Squat

Get into the squatting position then put your elbows inbetween your legs and hold your palms against each other like in a prayer. Remember to put your chest out, this will improve your hip mobility and also force your knees out during the squat. Stay in this position for 30 seconds.

prayer squat

Foam rollers can also help with mobility and unstiffening of your hips, thighs, calves and upper back. Which is why most serious lifters use them to warm up their muscles before even doing any of these stretches.

You should now be warmed up and ready to squat with proper form and increased mobility. Always remember before getting into your actual/working sets of squats you must build up to them, if not it will also cause an injury. A common mistake most people make is that after the warm up they just go straight into their working weight. For example if your aiming to work up to a weight of 3oo pounds for 3 sets and 10 reps you must first start with the bar and do a few reps, then 100 pounds and a few reps, then 200 pounds and a few reps. Get it ?

Here is a leg routine you can do after this warm up: Click Here For The Routine

If you have anymore questions about squat mobility and warm ups leave a comment below.

10 thoughts on “How To Warm Up For Squats – Do This Now To Lift More And Prevent Injuries

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience. I wish our high school coaches and trainers were more knowledgeable with proper warm up and weight training techniques. This year alone (it only really started in August) we have had 5 players suffer from lower back strains, pulled hamstrings and rotator cuff tears during training and not during a football game ! Proper preparations of yourself, the environment and the equipment are essential to success without injury. This is a FANTASTIC article and I will be sharing it with my friends so maybe additional injuries can be avoided. Thank you again for the information !

    1. Dam that is a lot of injuries and with these stretches a lot of them probabaly could have been prevented, thanks for sharing Shawna !

  2. I used to be a personal trainer and yoga instructor and I would use body weight squats to warm up, rather than stretches in order to perform more complex movements. I am curious how you came to the conclusion that stretches are better than other kinds of movements before doing squats. I would be concerned that the standing toe touches and torso turns puts your back at risk if your muscles are completely cold.

    If these exercises are performed when the body is already warm in preparation for squats, I can see how they would be beneficial, but not when your body is completely cold. So just wondering if you meant these exercises to come as one of the first things you would do at the start of a workout, or more to prepare the body for lifting extremely heavy weights after you are already warm ?

    1. If the first exercise you’re doing is going to be squats then you should definitely do a full body warm up first, then move on to this squat warm up. However, if you’re squatting mid way through your workout or near the end it’s best for you to perform these stretches just before you do the squats.

  3. Very good information that you are sharing, please I would like to know if diabetes people can also do these types of exercises.

    I’m asking this because I was just found with diabetes two weeks ago and after reading your very interesting information, I’m just wondering if I’m eligible for such activities.

    Please kindly advise further.



    1. Hi Jose,

      Since you have diabetes it would benefit you even more if you did these type of exercises, but nutrition is also a very important part as if you eat the right foods you can reverse the effects of diabetes. Here are articles that will help you get started: What’s The Best Diet For Weight Loss ? – 4 Principles That Will Make Any Diet You Try Work, The 5 Most Important Strength Training Exercises – Gain Muscle 50% Faster With These Exercises.

  4. I do squats as part of my daily exercise routine, but I never warm up. The fact that warming up can actually make your exercise more effective sounds amazing to me ! I also would never have known that you are supposed to warm up so much that you start to sweat – I would never have done it this extensively, but if it helps to prevent muscle injuries I’ll definitely try it. I’m definitely going to use these techniques to warm up in the future.

  5. Squats are a great exercise, so many skip that part of their workout because of not knowing how to do them properly and of course, not knowing how to warm up to do them.

    Injuries are a very real possibility with squats. This means that warming up is a very important aspect of this exercise. I appreciate the depth (squat humor) you went to with this article. Thanks and I will be following this site.

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