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If you think lollygagging on the treadmill or elliptical for a few minutes before hitting the gym floor is a suitable warmup for your strength training routine, trainer Jay T. Maryniak has got some bad news: “Jogging for 5 to 10 minutes is generally not a sufficient warm up.”
And failure to warm up properly increases the risk of injury and affects your ability to perform to your fullest potential. A sufficient and effective warmup, according to Maryniak, will do the work of “activating the muscles that [you] are going to use as well as moving [your] bodies through different ranges of motion.”
Maryniak shared a 4-movement full body warmup in a recent Instagram post. Best part? You don’t need to wait for a cardio machine to open to get moving. All you need is a mini resistance band. “Try it before your next full body workout,” he suggests.
The routine is simple enough: Perform 2 rounds of the below 4 movements at the indicated number of reps before you workout, and get ready to perform better.
Romanian Deadlift Row To Y
The name of this movement makes it sound trickier than it is, so don’t be intimidated. Stand with your feet stacked beneath your hips and a mini resistance band looped around your wrists, palms facing each other. Create tension on the band by pressing your wrists out—you’ll maintain that tension throughout the movement. Next, brace your core and push your butt back to hinge forward, just as you would for a Romanian deadlift. Keep your gaze trained down and arms extended, as if you were holding a barbell.
From this bent-over position, row your elbows back toward your chest. Without letting the band go slack, straighten your arms, then immediately perform a bent over Y. Bring your arms straight back down. Finally, you can return to standing. That’s one rep. Complete 6 to 8 total reps.
Pushup Plank Walk
A variation on the traveling plank, the banded pushup plank walk is all about activating your core, chest, and shoulders.
Loop the band around your wrists just as it was for the last move, then get into a tall plank position. Brace your core and slowly take four steps to the right, moving first with your hands, then your feet.
Watch Maryniak’s hips in the video—they aren’t shifting side to side as he steps, and yours shouldn’t be either. Taking very small (two to three inch) steps and keeping your core engaged the whole time can help.
Every four steps, you’ll perform a pushup. That’s one rep. Take four steps in the opposite direction before doing a pushup to complete the second rep. Continue for 8 to 10 total reps.
Lateral Band Walk
Time to wake up your glutes and hip flexors way up—an especially important component of any good warmup if you’ve got a desk job. Start with the band looped around your ankles, feet stacked under your hips. Bend your knees slightly, then step your right leg out to shoulder-width.
Resist the band’s pull to maintain control, then take another step with your left. That’s one step. Walk 5 total steps to the right before repeating on the left. Continue walking back and forth until you’ve completed 25 steps on each leg.
The monster walk requires you to step diagonally forward, as opposed to laterally side-to-side as you did in the other movement.
Start in the same position as the lateral walk. Then take a giant step diagonally forward with your left foot, just as Maryniak does in the video. Bring your right foot forward, passing the plane of your left foot a you step forward. Keep walking until you’ve taken 25 steps per leg forward, and 25 steps back.
The key is to maintain tension throughout your body with each step. You are control of the band, not the other way around. If your band is too loose, try wrapping it around your ankles twice.