Level Up Your Leg Day Warm Up Exercises

Level Up Your Leg Day Warm Up Exercises

clock-circular-outlinePosted 24 Feb 2023

If time is limited, our warm up is often the first thing that goes out the window. But what if we told you that a comprehensive warm up could improve your performance by 79%...

Got you hooked? Probably.

If growing bigger, stronger legs is your thing, then a leg day warm up may just help you push for that next PB, or squeeze out those all-important last reps or maximal tissue growth. Whatever your goals, there's no doubt that a leg day warm up can help give you a boost.

In this article, we'll explore the benefits of warming up for leg day, along with the best leg day warm up exercises for your next session.

Should You Warm Up For Leg Day?

For just a mere 10 or 15 minutes, the benefits of a leg day warm up are undoubtedly worth it – from boosting performance to keeping our joints moving freely. So how can warming up improve your leg workout?

  • Improve physical performance by up to 79%

  • Warming up joints and connective tissue for greater mobility through exercises

  • Improve blood flow to muscles and brain

  • Reduce your chance of injury

Performance and injury prevention go hand-in-hand, with injuries being a major set back in exercise progression.

We understand the benefits of a leg day warm up, but how do we warm up for leg day?

How To Warm Up For Leg Day

When looking at the best way to warm up for leg day, it's important to consider the exercises in your workout and how you can best prepare your muscles before proceeding with your leg workout.

Beginning with more generalized movements before making your leg day warm up exercises more specific to your workout.

Increase HR

A simple walk, jog, or cycle and help get the blood flowing. This will elevate our heart rate, increase blood flow, and warm the muscles and joints. This can be done at a steady pace for 5-10 minutes, nothing strenuous.

Non-Specific Full Body Movements

Now we're feeling warmer, we can run through a few full-body dynamic stretches. Although we're preparing for leg day, your upper body will still be involved – and we want to hit the best ROM on each exercise.

Work through a few reps of cat-cow, downward dog and thread the needle – executing a full range of motion throughout each exercise.

Leg Specific Movements

Now it's time to start working through some bodyweight exercises that relate to your leg day lifts.

Some great movements include walking lunges, tempo squats, PVC good mornings and glute bridges.

Performing exercises like those above will help directly prime the muscle groups we want to work, preparing them for leg day onslaught they are out to endure.

The Best Leg Day Warm Up Exercises

Now we've touched on a few key points, along with an approach you can take when it comes to your leg day warm up – it's time to give you some leg day exercises for you to try before your next workout.

Below is a thorough warm up for leg day, including a selection of leg day warm up exercises. Aim to spend around 10-15 minutes working through them before you progress onto your first main lift.

  • Brisk Walk

  • Downward-Dog To Cobra

  • Kneeling Thoracic Twists

  • Spiderman Lunge To Thoracic Rotation

  • Good Mornings

  • Walking Lunges

  • Glute Bridge Abductors

It's important to ensure you maintain some intensity through the dynamic movements, to ensure the body remains warm as we build into our leg workout.

Brisk Walk

Begin with a 7-minute brisk walk, with a 1-2% incline to increase the difficulty and elevate your heart rate.

Treadmill, or park further from the gym door? Your call, but getting the body moving and heart rate elevated will help you prepare your body for the rest of your leg day warm up.

Downward-Dog To Cobra

A great movement for our posterior chain, specifically targeting our hamstrings and lower back – areas of the body that we demand a lot from when training legs.

Want to improve your back flexibility? Take a look at our best back stretches!

Work through 5-10 reps of this exercise.

Kneeling Thoracic Twists

A great exercise for opening up the mid-back, relieving it of tight pains or aches. The kneeling position starts to open up our hips as we rotate round with the elevated arm.

Complete 5-10 reps on each side.

Spiderman Lunge To Thoracic Rotation

A simple progression from the previous exercise. The Spiderman Lunge to Thoracic Rotation is another effective movement to open up our thoracic and hips, preparing the posterior chain for leg day while building in some much-needed hip mobility – essential for exercises such as the squat, step-ups, and lunges.

Work through your own personal range of motion without stretching too far, aiming to increase mobility over time.

Complete 5-10 reps on each side.

Good Mornings

Good Mornings, a staple exercise when it comes to loading our posterior chain, specifically targeting the hamstrings.

Resist the urge to grab a barbell and opt for a PVC pipe or bodyweight, to maintain correct form and posture without adding any load – preparing our hamstrings, rather than fatiguing them pre-workout.

Complete ten repetitions.

Walking Lunges

A great exercise to prime the lower body, walking lunges engage not just our leg muscles, but our core too.

To get the full benefit, don't rush your lunges. Keep a steady eccentric motion, with a slight pause at the bottom, before engaging your glutes and your legs to fully extend back up, before repeating on the other side.

If you're short on space or like to mix things up – lunges on the sport or reverse lunges will work well too!

Complete 10 reps on each side.

Glute Bridge Abductors

Our glutes play a key role in many leg exercises, so it's important we have them firing on all cylinders by adequately preparing the largest muscle at the hip joint, the glutes.

Our hip abductors help move our leg to the side, aiding stability and change of direction during lateral movements. When we're lifting big weights, stability is essential.

The Glute Bridge Abductor exercise helps prepare these major muscle groups ahead of leg day.

Keep a steady tempo when moving through each rep, avoiding an over extension at the top.

Complete 10 repetitions.

Now you've completed your leg day warm up, you should feel warm, mobile and primed - ready to take on your leg workout with confidence.

. . .

Chris Beck is Senior Editor at Gymshark, with a passion for writing informative conditioning and health content. Chris is an experienced Personal Trainer, and also holds qualifications in Nutrition, Sports Performance, and is a certified Crossfit Level 1 Trainer.

Chris BeckBy Chris Beck

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