Whether it’s low-intensity cardio, stretching or mediation, it’s important to prep your body for exercise. This is especially true if that exercise is high-impact in nature. A warm-up can also help boost your performance and help prime your lungs, brain and muscles for what’s to come. 

Try these 5 moves to help prime your entire body for exercise.

Glute bridge (2 sets of 12 – 15 reps)

  • Lie on your back with feet flat against the floor and knees bent
  • Engage your glutes before lifting your hips off of the floor until your body forms a straight line from knees to shoulders
  • Pause briefly at the top of the movement before slowly lowering your glutes back down to the starting position for one rep

Kettlebell halos (2 sets of 10 reps in each direction)

  • Start in a standing position, holding a kettlebell with both hands
  • Raise the kettlebell above the left side of your head beside your left ear
  • Slowly move the kettlebell behind your head, then over your right ear
  • Be sure to keep your head straight and core engaged while you do these movements
  • Bring the kettlebell back to your chest for one rep
  • Reverse the movement by going in the opposite direction

Goblet squats (2 sets of 10-12 reps)

  • Choose a lightweight kettlebell to activate the muscles in the legs and hold it in the centre of your chest
  • Stand with your toes pointed slightly outwards and your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Hinge at the hips and bend your knees to lower your body as close to the ground as possible
  • Be sure to keep your arms close to your chest and elbows pointed down
  • Pause at the bottom of your squat and drive through your glutes, legs and heels to raise your body back to the starting position for one rep

Reverse lunge to overhead press (2 sets of 10-12 on each leg)

  • Hold a kettlebell in both hands while standing upright
  • Step your left leg behind you, lowering yourself into a reverse lunge
  • Return to standing and lift the kettlebell over your head, maintaining a slight bend at the elbow
  • Don't let your arm swing outward as you hold this position for a few seconds
  • Lower your left arm back down to the starting position for one rep
  • Repeat on the opposite side

Hardstyle kettlebell swings (2 sets of 10-12 reps)

When doing a hardstyle deadlift style of swing, it’s important to start with a good ground connection, which is essential for stability and power production. To help ground the body while performing kettlebell swings, a flat sole shoe is recommended.

Traditional hardstyle breathing requires one breathing cycle per swing, where you inhale through the nose or mouth during the backswing, followed by a tight exhale (don’t let all your air out at once) during the upward motion of the swing.

Steps to perform a proper hardstyle 2-arm kettlebell swing:

  • Set up in an athletic stance with two hands on the kettlebell positioned directly in front of your feet
  • Maintain a good grip on the handle during the swing so the kettlebell does not flop at the top or during the end of the backswing
  • Tip the handle of the kettlebell back towards you and lock your lats into place (think shoulder blades into back pockets), creating back tension
  • When you feel your hamstrings stretch; squeeze your glutes and drive your feet into the ground to move the kettlebell upward through the legs
  • Propel the kettlebell upward (not forward) through your legs by hinging your hips
  • To prevent lower back injury, the hips are underneath your body and knees are locked
  • A slight elbow bend is allowed during the swing; however, do not actively bend your elbows and pull the kettlebell inward to help move the weight upward to the top of the swing
  • Stand tall at the top of the movement, with arms extended and the kettlebell parallel to the floor
  • Wait for the kettlebell to almost hit your midsection before you hinge back to the starting position for one rep. Hinging too early will result in a lack of strength and may cause a sore lower back or an injury over time