5 Instant Warm-Up Fixes for Colder Workouts

winter warmups
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1. Top Up on Protein

Get a head start on recovery with a dose of whey protein half an hour before you exercise. Research published in the journal Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise found taking 20g of whey protein 30 minutes before resistance training can boost your body’s metabolism for as much as 24 hours after your workout, helping boost thyroid function, protect against declining testosterone and kick-start muscle protein synthesis.

2. Drink Coffee

A caffeine hit can do far more than just kick you out of a sleepy mind-funk. A pre-workout hit can help prep your body to burn 15% more calories post-exercise, according to Spanish research. Other studies show it can boost blood flow to your muscles for improved endurance and reduce perceived muscle pain so you can push beyond limits of fatigue. The perfect blend? A double espresso 30 minutes before your workout.

3. Prime Your Grip

The wrists are the most vulnerable part of your body when exercising, so warm them up with a simple grip strengthener while waiting for the caffeine to hit. Research from the Olympic Training Centre in Colorado found 90% of athletic injuries to the wrists occur when they’re in a dorsiflexed position, which they are when doing anything from press-ups to front squats, so prep the muscles and joints in your hands and forearms for action with three sets of ten slow reps on each hand while squeezing a grip trainer.

4. Visualise Each Exercise

Mentally warm up your muscles by rehearsing your workout in your mind while you walk to the gym. A US study found people who visualise their workouts benefited from a 13% increase in strength. Imagining your muscles contracting with each exercise can make the electrical impulse sent from your brain to your muscle more efficient and the contractions more forceful.

5. Press Play

You don’t need to be a happy hardcore fan to get in the groove for a high-tempo workout – listening to music with 130 beats per minute or higher can reduce feelings of fatigue and help you arrive ready to attack your workout. A study from Brunel University found music positively affected muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness by up to 15%. So take your 130bpm pick from Calvin Harris’s “Sweet Nothing”, Drake’s “Make Me Proud” or, our pick, AC/DC’s headbanging classic “Highway To Hell”. 

Sam Rider

Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix. Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.