I Used This Four-Minute Low-Impact Warm-Up When I Had A Knee Niggle And It Changed My Workout For The Better

Woman warming up in gym, twisting her body to one side
(Image credit: Mike Harrington / Getty Images)

However you plan on working out, you should never miss your warm-up. Not only does it reduce your risk of injury, it gets your body ready to move. That means you can perform every movement as well as possible and get more from the time you spend working out. 

That’s what I reminded myself this week as I headed to the gym. My goal is to make a warm-up non-negotiable. Unfortunately, I had a slight knee niggle, but I didn’t want to let this stop me. So, I found a low-impact, knee-friendly warm-up routine from personal trainer Roxanne Russell to get me going. 

All I needed was an exercise mat and four minutes. No risk of aggravating my knees and no time for getting bored—my kind of warm-up.

The routine is straightforward, with just six dynamic stretches and low-impact bodyweight exercises done for 30 seconds each (or each side in the case of hip circles and knee drives). There is no jumping so not only will this please niggly knees, if you’re about to do a home workout and live in an apartment, your downstairs neighbors will be happy, too.

The moves mobilized all my major muscle groups and the low-impact jacks raised my pulse without jarring my knee.

Once I was done, I no longer felt in a sleepy, unprepared state. I went on to complete a short abs workout and Coach’s arms workout for women. My session was more enjoyable after spending that short time preparing my body.

After my workout, it was time to warm down so I followed this full-body stretching routine. If you’re after a longer routine, try this gym warm-up, which has sequences to use before a weights workout and treadmill workout

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness writer

Lois Mackenzie is a fitness writer working on news, features, reviews and buying guides for Coach and sister site Fit&Well. Lois is a hill walker and avid runner who has just completed her first marathon. Before joining Coach, Lois worked as a senior SEO reporter at Newsquest Media Group.