5 bodyweight warm up for beginners

Warm up for beginners

Warm up for beginners should start from a low intensity activity and gradually build the exercise intensity which allows body temperature to elevate while also preparing the muscles, joints and tendons for the main workout.

We have selected 5 best beginner warm up exercises which activates all the major muscles groups in our body.

1 Arm circles

Arm circles primarily targets the upper body. This beginner warm up exercise can be performed in 3 different sets. The initial movement are kept smaller to prime the shoulder joints and gradually the range of motion is increased. In addition to being a great warm up movement, arm circles also enhances the mobility of your shoulders.


  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Extend your arms straight out to your sides, so that they are parallel to the floor
  3. Start by making small circles in the forward direction for 10 seconds.
  4. Progress to medium circles for another 10 seconds and then make large circles for the final 10 repetition in the forward direction.
  5. Now repeat this exercise by making small circles in the reverse direction for 10 seconds.
  6. Progress to medium circles for another 10 seconds and then make large circles for the final 10 reps in the reverse direction.

Muscles worked

The arm circles works the shoulder muscles in 3 directions. It activates anterior, mid and posterior deltoid muscles.  

Arm circles warm up
Arm circles warm up

Watch the full video on Youtube:

2 Marching in place

Marching in place is considered as a low-impact exercise and it does help to burn some extra calories. According to the American Council on Exercise, marching in place is a great beginner warm up for people those who are overweight. This exercise offers great cardio vascular benefits without the risk of injury that’s associated with high-impact activity.


  1. Begin the exercise by standing tall and keep hands on the side.
  2. Bring the right arm forward and bend the elbow at at 90o angle.
  3. Simultaneous raise your left knee and bend your leg at 90o angle.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side and keep alternating sides until set is complete.
Marching in place

3 Bodyweight Squats

Our warm up for beginners list cannot be complete without the bodyweight squat. Bodyweight squats is another low impact warm up routine that can be performed anywhere. The squats primarily works the muscles in the lower body including quadriceps, hamstring, glutes, soleus and gastrocnemius (calves).


  1. To begin the squat stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart
  2. Take a deep breath in, engage your core and hold your arms straight out in front of your body at shoulder level
  3. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees
  4. Straighten your legs and slowly push yourself back to the starting position while breathing out
Bodyweight squats

4 Leg swings

Leg swings are excellent dynamic warmup for your lower body. Leg swings primarily works the hip flexors, glutes and legs for improving mobility and flexibility. This is a great bodyweight workout which can be added to one of the must-to-do warm up exercises for running beginners.


  1. To perform leg swing stabilise your upper body by keeping torso upright and brace your core.(you may use support of a wall or a pillar to provide additional balance thought the movement)
  2. Ensure you have enough space in the front and back of your legs to allow free swing of your legs.
  3. Keeping one leg firmly planted to the ground, slowly swing the opposite leg forward and backward in a controlled motion.
  4. Slowly increase the range of motion and increase the height and pace of the swings as you progress.
  5. Perform desired number of reps on one leg before switching sides and performing swings using the opposite leg.
Leg swings

5 Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks is a cardiovascular exercise that engages every muscle group in your body, especially when you keep your core engaged to fire up the abdominal and back muscles. When performing the jumping jacks, you will not only burn fat but also toning the muscles too! Just be sure to keep a brisk pace to keep your heart rate up and maintain the aerobic benefits of this exercise.


  1. Stand up straight with your legs together and your arms down at your side.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and begin the jump. As you jump, spread your legs to about shoulder-width apart and stretch your arms out and over your head, so they almost clap together.
  3. Jump again and return your arms and legs to the starting position.
Jumping Jacks

To read more about the importance of warm up and the 10 benefits associated with warm up, read our article ” What is the importance of warm up? 10 benefits of warm up exercises“.

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