Quick bodybuilding warm-up in 4 exercises (with video)

Bodybuilding warm-up – I don't know about you, but it never fascinated me. Of course it is useful and important for the muscles, the joints or the heart. But it's often off-putting...

So, despite the weight of the years, I do everything to keep my warm-ups short and motivating. I rarely take more than 4 minutes to get in condition. Perhaps your warm-ups can also have more pep.

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Why do a bodybuilding warm-up?

A warm-up gradually accelerates the cardiovascular system by increasing body temperature, blood flow to muscles and heart rate. It can also help reduce muscle soreness and the risk of injury.

As for the joints, the synovial fluid thins out as you raise your body temperature. This is important so that your body is ready from the 1st series at the start of the session.

But in addition to preparing the body for the effort, doing warm-up series plays an essential role for the mental conditioning and the motivation sportsmen.

A good warm-up must therefore be an integral part of your program if you want to improve your performance. And that's true whatever your sport of choice.

Dynamic bodybuilding warm-up

fast bodybuilding warm up

Joe Dowdell, a fitness expert in New York City, recommends doing a general dynamic warm-up, and I totally agree with him. There's nothing worse than starting at a snail's pace on antidepressants 😂

That's why I prefer to use the following 4 exercises to get all the muscles going:

1. Jumping Jacks

The Jumping Jacks are truly perfect cardio exercises to warm up the entire body in no time. It is also the favorite exercise of George Mitropetros, a coach of stars in Hollywood.

I almost always start there, although I sometimes do other movements depending on the session of the day. Watch the video below to see what it is. You will quickly understand that jumping jacks have the ability to activate your legs, your abdominal strap, your chest and your heart rate at the same time.

For me, there is not a more complete and faster bodybuilding warm-up. I do at least 50 at a time and alternate between movement #2 (bodyweight squats), #3 (arm swings) and #4 (shoulder rotations) depending on the workout of the day.

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Do at least 2 sets of 50 jumping jacks for your warm-up.

Adjustable dumbbells 40kg

2. Bodyweight Squats

Well, we no longer present the squats which are often considered the best core exercise for thighs and buttocks. Place your feet at least hip-width apart.

It is true that to build large quadriceps, this movement is often done with a load on the shoulders during a weight training session. But it is not a requirement if your goal is not to have a large volume. Today, many programs use this movement with body weight or with elastic bands. You can also increase the difficulty by pushing explosively like in burpees or jump squats.

But for your muscle warm-up body weight is enough or a TRX strap like in my video. Save this warm-up exercise especially for days when you're working your legs. However, stick to 2 sets of 15 to 20 reps without rushing for a specific warm-up for the knee joints. Especially if you are over 40 or 50…

3. Arm swings

This is the easiest of the 4 exercises, but you will find that the arm swings are really great for getting the pecs, the front of the shoulders and the back in condition. This is even more true if you are doing push-ups or bench presses that day.

This exercise simply consists of swinging the arms in front of you, alternating each time the arm that goes over and the one that goes under. Be careful not to tie knots 😉

During this movement, keep moving the legs to circulate the blood throughout the body.

Do a total of 2 sets alternating with jumping jacks. The number of repetitions is not very important for this one. It's how you feel.

4. Shoulder rotations

As these are quite fragile joints, these are parts of the body that must be warmed up before each session. Make some shoulder rotations even if it's not the muscle group you'll be working. During a weight training session, you always need the shoulders, if only to catch the weights or place the elastic bands.

It is a very simple movement which consists of spreading the arms and rotating in one direction, then in the other. You will have an example in the video below.

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Example of an express warm-up

To help you visualize, I have posted a video where I show a warm-up before a leg session in less than 4 minutes:

I'm not necessarily saying this is what you need at 100 TP2T, but this weight training workout works well for me. Besides, this video was not intended to be posted online at the start. It was just a conditioning before a session of the thighs and glutes.

When I follow this kind of routine, I feel a significant energy gain before greater physical exertion without feeling like a waste of time.


If you're a little diesel (like Vince)

As I told you in the introduction, I like to attack with a dynamic warm-up muscles and the cardiovascular system as with jumping jacks.

However, if you want a slightly softer start, you can do a minute of RKC plank and a fifty (or more if you like) of bicycle crunch to get you in condition.

For my part, I also use exercises like mountain climbers and others of my own invention which are essentially intended for the local warming up of the front of the shoulders at the same time as the acceleration of the heart rate. I basically do them because I hurt my right shoulder a lot when I was in my twenties.

It's up to you to see if there are other movements that improve your muscle mobility and promote a rise in body temperature without hurting you.

Bodybuilding warm-up pattern

How to do all this quickly? Well, here's how you can do it:

The days when you do upper body session (no rest time between sets):

  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 30 arm swings
  • 40 shoulder rotations
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 30 arm swings

The days when you do lower body workout (no rest time between sets):

  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 15 to 20 squats
  • 40 shoulder rotations
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 15 to 20 squats

And that's it…you're ready for your first workout after that. You see, a bodybuilding warm up, it's super easy 😅. Not enough to make a big deal out of it!

Bodybuilding warm-up – Conclusion 

Well, I do not pretend to say that this type of start-up is made for everyone. Some prefer to start with a static stretching for greater flexibility and it worked well for them. Honestly, it's tiring my patience 😂

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The most important advice is to find the desire to exercise at least 3 times a week, and more if you like. And I know that if I had to spend 20 minutes in stretching exercises and muscle warm-ups, I would have given up a long time ago. However, I was born in 1967 and I still train 5 times a week. Over time, I understood what works for me and what motivates me, and it's certainly not the 2 hour sessions 😅 

Of course, there are many factors to consider when deciding what works best for you in terms of intensity. But if, like me, you like to do bodybuilding in the form of HIIT with a very short break between each series, your bodybuilding warm-up must also be fast and effective.

Leave a message below to ask your questions or say what you like to do to get started before a session. THANK YOU !

Bodybuilding Warm-up FAQ

Should I warm up before each exercise?

Not really, a general warm-up is enough to get the body going at the cardiovascular level. However, every muscle needs a gentle approach in strength training.

This means you'll start each exercise with a set of roughly double the reps and a light load. By gradually increasing the resistance and reducing the length of the reps, your muscles will continue to warm up.

How to warm up the lower body?

Bodyweight squats are great for the legs and thighs. It is also recommended to do the hip thrust, an exercise called the bridge in French, for the buttocks, the hips, the hamstrings and the square of the loins.

How to warm up the upper body?

The easiest are arm swings and shoulder rotations. However, for people with a more advanced level, the exercise called plank to pike is really very effective in getting the shoulders, pecs and abdominals in shape. We start from an outstretched arm plank position to a position where the buttocks are as high as possible by pushing on the arms. You can consult this video to understand. 

For the rest, just increase the load or resistance gradually for each muscle group.

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