Morning mobility warm up

Waking upAfter a couple of conversations about how difficult it is to get up and going in the morning, here is a sample warm up you can do to get your body moving first thing.  It should be nice and simple and it’s easily scalable.

But in fact, this is also a good, simple, pre-workout warm up drill.  Nothing fancy or specific, it gets all the joints and muscles of your body wound up and ready for the next step!

Beginners – complete 10 seconds of each exercise.  This should take about 2 minutes to complete.

More advanced – complete 15-20 seconds of each exercise.  Repeat the circuit 2-3 times in total. 

The basic theme of it is:

“Get the big joints of the body moving.”

So here goes:

Arm rolls.

Keeping elbows straight, swing your arms backwards in a big circle.  Reach them up high, back behind you, down then up to the front again.  Let them move in big flowing circles.  
Top tip:  try to get your shoulder blades moving big too.

High knee marching.

Marching on the spot, lifting your knees up high with each step.  
Top tip:  Dont let your upper body swing/sway or hunch down to your knees.  Click here for picture.

Arm swings.

Swing your arms horizontally across the front of your body, then out to the sides, then repeat (think Barbra Windsor in that film).  Don’t let your arms sag downwards when you swing them out and make sure your palms are pointing upwards when they are out there.  
Top tip:  arms up and palms up.

Squat stretch.

Standing with feet a good shoulder width apart, squat down and “settle” down at the bottom, using your elbows to push your knees outwards.  Click here to see my guide to thie move.  
Top tip:  keep your heels flat, chest high and your knees out.

Front crawl.

Similar to the arm rolls above, but rolling them forwards one at a time.  As if you are doing a (bad) front crawl in the swimming pool.  
Top tip:  get your shoulder blades involved as much as possible.

Lunge stretch.

Go down in to a nice long, low lunge position and rest your back knee on the floor.  Pulse back and forth over your front knee, feeling a stretch at the front of the trailing leg.  Click here for my guide.  
Top tip:  Keep your body tall and belly tight.  No leaning forwards or arching the back.

Back stroke.

Similar to the Arm Rolls above, but rolling them backwards one at a time.  Imagine you are in the pool again, doing the back stroke.  
Top tip:  get your shoulder blades involved as much as possible.

Cossack stretch.

Easiest thing for me to do is simply link to my previous tutorial on how to do this move.  Click here…

Stick ups.

Click here for my tutorial on this move.  An easier version of this is to do exactly the same, but you are laying on your back on the floor, instead of standing against the wall.

Shadow boxing.

Put your fists up and pretend you are Rocky.  Throw some controlled, big punches into the air.  Add a bit of variety by aiming them at different heights (head and body) and in different directions (to the left and right).  
Top tip:  get the body twisting too as you punch.

Jogging on the spot with high knees.

Simple to do, go for a jog without moving from where you are.  Don’t end up shuffling on the spot like a zombie, get your knees up nice and high.  
Top tip:  jog like a ninja, not an elephant…in other words, your feet landing on the floor should be silent, not crashing down loud.


Start by standing tall.  Then lay flat down on your belly, stand back up tall again, lay flat down on your back and finally stand back up tall again…Then repeat…
Top tip:  get down/up by using the big joints of your body (hips, knees, shoulders and elblows) instead of slumping at the waist.