How to Warm Up Before Performing Squats

By Lisa M. Wolfe

In less than five minutes, your squat warm-up routine prepares and protects your body for a successful workout. As you engage in full-body movements to increase blood flow, mimic the squat exercise or isolate key muscle groups, such as your quadriceps, you reduce the risk of injury and improve your results. A squat warm-up mimics the exact mechanics you'll be demanding of your muscles, which provides the potential for higher-intensity contractions, ExRx.net notes.

Step 1

Perform a general, full-body warm-up before squatting if it is cold, in the morning, or when your core temperature and heart rate are low. Choose a cardiovascular machine such as a treadmill, elliptical trainer or stationary bike. Perform the movement for five to 10 minutes at a low to moderate intensity level. Or walk, march in place or ride a regular bike for a similar duration.

Step 2

Complete 12 to 15 repetitions on a leg extension machine using a light weight setting to warm your quadriceps for squats. Select a weight that does not cause fatigue yet increases blood flow to your upper thighs.

Step 3

Squat with a warm-up weight that is approximately 50 percent of your training weight if your workout load is light weight and for more than 12 repetitions. Carry out one set of eight to 15 squats. Calculate your training weight as the amount you can lift for 10 repetitions until you reach fatigue. Execute a second warm-up set using the lighter weight if you are susceptible to injuries.

Step 4

Get ready for your workout with two warm-up sets, if you squat with a medium amount of weight and perform between eight and 12 repetitions. Finish the first with five to eight repetitions and the second with four to six repetitions. Warm up with a weight that is between 50 and 75 percent of your training weight.

Step 5

Engage in three warm-up sets for heavy lifting, which entails less than eight repetitions. Squat five to six times using 50 percent of your training weight. Continue the warm-up with three to four squats at 75 percent of your training weight. Finish with two to three repetitions at 90 percent of the training weight.

Step 6

Complete the warm-up squats using your bodyweight or an unloaded barbell for another effective option.

Step 7

Recover for at least 30 seconds and for up to three minutes between your warm-up sets and your squat workout.

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