These best squat warm-up exercises will get you primed to tackle anything that comes your way with the squat.
The squat is a monster lift. We all love to pack on the weight and really give ourselves the best chance at growth with this exercise. As one of the big three powerlifting exercises, having a big squat can make others envious and certainly help your training and performance in a number of ways. But knowing how to warm-up properly can greatly affect how you perform during this lift and will work wonders for you in terms of muscle growth, increased balance and stability, and of course, reduced risk of injury. Keep yourself in the gym longer by taking care of your body and a proper warm-up is exactly what you need to see that happen.
Let’s take a look at some great squat warm-up exercises to really give ourselves the best chance at success. With the right exercises, you can greatly influence your training and performance goals so you see the results you want most out of all your lifts.
Benefits Of The Squat
The squat is a great exercise that can provide for a host of benefits to our growth and stability. Here are the benefits of this great exercise:
- Enhance leg growth: This exercise works your lower body to the max and allows for some serious growth to take place (1).
- Balance and stability: By working on that increased leg strength, you allow yourself to stay grounded for better balance and stability (2).
- Get some core done: Your core is engaged throughout the entire movement, thus getting some work done as well.
- Reduced injury: By working your entire lower body, you touch on some stabilizer muscles that can aid in better support to limit your risk of injury, especially under so much weight (3).
This may be obvious but we should touch on it quickly. Too often do we neglect a warm-up and hop right into the workout, but that only does us a disservice. By warming up, we allow for better blood flow through the muscles as our heart rate starts to increase. This loosens us up, gets up primed for whatever workout we seek to tackle, and can reduce injury by keeping us alert. Getting a good sweat going before our actual workout is only beneficial to keeping us active for much longer.
Best Squat Warm-Up Exercises
Here are some of the best squat warm-up exercises to get you primed and ready to go.
The glute bridge is great for firing up your glutes, but also those leg muscles and core that will all be targeted during the squat (4). Lying flat on the floor, have your feet around shoulder width apart and bend your knees. Engage your core and work to drive your hips up through your feet, really pushing upwards. Squeeze your glutes at the top and gently lower back down. Repeat for your desired amount of reps.
Bodyweight squats are perfect as they mimic the motion of the squat without any added weight. This helps you get some muscle memory going as well as warming up those leg muscles (5). With your feet around shoulder width apart, hold your hands out in front and squat down before returning to the starting position. Repeat for your desired amount of reps.
Hip circles will work to loosen up those hips, a vital component of the squat. This will allow for better range of motion as you get down into that position. With your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, place your hands on your hips and slowly rotate those hips, making big circles. Complete for one side and switch to the other.
The lateral lunge will work your hips and legs to get some nice movement out of a more lateral rotation. With your feet around shoulder width apart, step one leg to the side and enter into a lunge. Return to the starting position and repeat for your desired number of reps.
Having a good foam roller to use is essential for those pre- and post-workout needs. This will help loosen up those muscles to ease pain and eliminate any sore spots. It will also increase blood flow so your muscles will be primed for whatever workout comes your way (6).
Featured Supplement For Gains
When it comes to seeing gains, especially after the squat, it is important to have a good supplementation routine in place. Whether that be using a pre-workout or intra-workout BCAA, or even something like a fat burner or testosterone booster, these will greatly enhance all those bodybuilding wants and needs. A protein powder is also vital for growth and recovery and should not be overlooked.
Performance Lab SPORT Protein
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These best squat warm-up exercises will help you get your body primed for whatever comes its way when performing the squat. The squat is a monster lift and requires a lot of your lower body to get that weight lifted. By doing so, you are able to challenge yourself and really see that growth and added stability you want most. Give these warm-up exercises a try and see your squat greatly improve. You won’t be disappointed by the results.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Kubo, Keitaro; Ikebukuro, Toshihiro; Yata, Hideaki (2019). “Effects of squat training with different depths on lower limb muscle volumes”. (source)
- Chandler, T. J.; Wilson, G. D.; Stone, M. H. (1989). “The effect of the squat exercise on knee stability”. (source)
- Lorenzetti, Silvio; Ostermann, Mira; Zeidler, Fabian; Zimmer, Pia; et al. (2018). “How to squat? Effects of various stance widths, foot placement angles and level of experience on knee, hip and trunk motion and loading”. (source)
- Tobey, Kelcy; Mike, Jonathan (2018). “Single-Leg Glute Bridge”. (source)
- Kritz, M.; Cronin, J.; Hume, P. (2009). “The Bodyweight Squat: A Movement Screen for the Squat Pattern”. (source)
- Macdonald, Graham Z.; Button, Duane C.; Drinkwater, Eric J.; Behm, David G. (2014). “Foam rolling as a recovery tool after an intense bout of physical activity”. (source)