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8 Warm Up Exercises to Do On Cold Mornings

Woman doing downward facing dog at home.
Karla Tafra

Fall weather is well underway and with mornings only getting colder, it’s becoming extremely necessary to move your body before you start your day. And all you really need is five to 10 minutes.

These easy, but effective warm-up exercises can be done as soon as you roll out of bed and they’ll prep your muscles for whatever you’ve set out to do.

Knee to Nose and Kick

Come to a tabletop position with your wrists right under your shoulders and your knees right under your hips. Activate your core muscles and tuck your pelvis, so you feel your entire spine elongate from your tailbone to the base of your head.

Press your palms firmly into the floor so you can feel the space in between your shoulder blades expand, and on your inhale, lift your right leg and bring your knee towards your chest. At the same time, bring your chin towards your chest as well, so you’re trying to make the connection between your knee and your nose.

On your exhale, kick your leg back, flex your foot, and feel the activation of your hamstring and glute muscles. Inhale and bring your knee towards your nose, exhale and kick it back. Repeat 10 times and then do the same thing with your left leg.

Little Exercise Ball

Great for warming up and activating leg muscles.

Side plank Clams

Lay on your right side and propel yourself on your elbow. Keep your knees bent and lift your hips up so you’re only balancing on your right elbow and the outer part of your right knee and foot. Place your left hand on your left hip to steady yourself and on your inhale, open your knees while keeping your feet together. Exhale and close your knees. Keep opening and closing your knees for 10-12 reps. Do the same on your left leg.

Every time you open your knees, focus on squeezing your hamstring and the part where it ties in with your glute to really warm up your legs and activate your muscles.

Pilates Ring

Activate your leg muscles and feel your inner and outer thighs burn.

Plank Kicks

Come into a plank on your forearms, making sure your elbows are right under your shoulders. Activate your core muscles and your quadriceps while keeping your hips in one straight line. Try to prevent your hips from dropping closer to the floor or lifting up so you’re making an inverted V shape with your body.

On your inhale, lift your right leg up and squeeze your right glute and hamstring. Exhale, and drop it back down. Inhale and kick, exhale and drop. Repeat 10-12 times before doing the same thing with your left leg.

Ab Roller

This ab roller features an extra-wide design for added stability and is made of a soft material that is suitable for all floor types, including hardwood and carpeted.

Plank Knee to Triceps

Stay in your plank and check your form. Make sure both of your feet are firmly pushing into the floor, your quadriceps activated, your core muscles engaged, and your hips are in line with your entire body.

From here, take a big inhale and on your exhale, lift your right leg, bend the knee and bring it as close to your right triceps as possible. If you can tap it, do it. Inhale and bring your leg back. Exhale and tap, inhale and prepare. You can do 10-12 taps on one side and then repeat on the left, or alternate between your legs and work both sides at once.

Heart rate monitor

Make sure you're pushing yourself in your workouts.

Downward Facing Dog Walks

Start in a plank position and push your hips diagonally back and up, so you’re making an inverted V shape with your body. Keep stretching your legs and having your heels reaching for the floor. Push yourself by pressing hard through your palms and relax your head. Keep your shoulders as far from your ears as possible and find some good elongation in your entire spine.

Slowly start bending one leg and then the other, taking your time to really stretch your muscles and feel the blood rushing down your legs. It’s one of the best warm-up exercises for whenever you need to get a full-body reset. Go for 20-30 walks.

Gaiam Yoga Mat

The perfect at-home mat for all of your fitness and recovery exercises.

Upper Body Stretch and Circles

Come into a kneeling position and sit back on your heels. Feel your sitting bones find a good and comfortable position on your feet so you feel supported. Inhale and bring your arms over your head, making sure to leave space for your neck by bringing your shoulders down.

Inhale and grab your left wrist with your right hand, pulling your left arm to the right side, and leaning to the right. Feel the stretch in the entire left part of your body all the way down to your hip. Inhale and come back to the center, and repeat on the other side. Repeat the whole sequence once or twice more.

After your last stretch, come back to the starting position and open your arms to the side, doing big circles with your arms. Get as creative as you want, feeling each part of your body open and stretch.l There is no right or wrong here, the point is to get the blood flowing and loosen up your muscles. Go for five to eight circles.

Stretching Strap

Stretching strap that helps you get deeper in your poses.

Table Top Circles

Start in a tabletop position, wrists right under shoulders and knees right under hips. Push your hips all the way back to your heels and start moving to the left, coming all the way to your front left wrist, going over to the right, and finishing back on your heels.

Do the full circle five times and then switch your direction. Once again, you have the full reigns on how to move. The goal is to increase your range of motion in your hips and lower back so go as big or as small as you feel like.

Knee Pads

Support your knees with these sleek pads.

Squat to Plank

Come into a plank on your palms, making sure they’re right under your shoulders. Activate your core muscles and keep your hips leveled. Inhale and bend your knees, bringing your hips as close to your heels as possible. Exhale and propel your body forward into a full plank.

Keep your core muscles strong and active so you really feel the heat building up. Go for 10-12 repetitions.

Yoga socks.

Silicone grips keep you upright, while elastic straps and a low cut keep you looking cute while working out.

Starting your day on a good note is important, but so is ending it. Here are some of the best exercises you can do to unwind before bed.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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