Why we up & how

A warm-up should never be seen as an inconvenience before the “real” work; a warm is the beginning of the work. It can influence the subsequent workout.

Having some go-to movements/warm-ups can offer great confidence in your preparations. Below is a FREE warm-up for your strength training session which has some of my favourite movements.

Warm-up using the “RAMP” protocol; Raise, Activate & Mobilise, Prepare (/Potentiate).

Any soft tissue work (i.e. foam rolling should be done first) with short durations.

Raise heart rate, core temperature, muscle temperature and increased blood flow. This phase essentially gets the system “warmed up” through various mechanisms; across temperature, metabolic and neural systems.

Activate muscles and mobilise joints through various dynamic movements to prepare for the upcoming session. There can be long-term goals with the mobility phase (i.e. increase range of motion of ankle joint to improve squat movement).

Prepare for the work to come (movement patterns) in a progressive manner. This phase serves as the transition from activation/mobilisation phase to the “main” training session. This should focus on skill, movements and capacities required in the work to  come (i.e. Preparation for high bar back squats can be progressed from bodyweight, to a low percentage of the desired load with higher reps etc).

This prepare (what coaches refer to as potentiate) phase is generalised and non-specific; which is fine once you do warm up sets of the exercise to come. However, for something where load can be difficult to reduce (i.e. pull ups) simply include a low load exercise for the same muscle groups (inverted rows, band pull downs etc).



Reps/ Sets/ Time


Knee Cradles

10 x 2


Arm Circles

10 x 3


Walk to Jog

10s walk to 20s jog x 2

Activate & mobilise

World’s Greatest Stretch

5 reps each side x 2


Supine glute + Reach

5 reps each side x 2


Modified Yoga Push up

5 reps x 2



3 reps (controlled/slow) each side x 2


Push ups (kneeling if needed)

10 reps x 2



10 reps x 2

  • McGowan CJ, Pyne DB, Thompson KG, Rattray B. Warm-Up Strategies for Sport and Exercise: Mechanisms and Applications. Sports Med. 2015 Nov;45(11):1523-46. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0376-x. PMID: 26400696.


  • Woods K, Bishop P, Jones E. Warm-up and stretching in the prevention of muscular injury. Sports Med. 2007;37(12):1089-99. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200737120-00006. PMID: 18027995.


  • Jeffreys, I. Warm-up revisited: The ramp method of optimizing warm-ups. Prof Strength Cond 6:12-18, 2007.