It has been on my mind to write this article for some time, mainly because I am the worst at warming up properly when I am training for figure versus powerlifting and it has caused some setbacks for me. When I am in meet prep, my warm-up is much more extensive and purposeful because I am much more concerned with the potential of injury. Low and behold, most of my injuries have come from my figure prep! I personally think that has a lot to do with being lazy and skipping my warm up.

Who needs a warm up when your training volume is high? Um…everyone! I have learned my lesson and would like to share a quick 10-minute warm-up adequate for those training in a bodybuilding or high volume fashion.

Upper Body Days

Foam Rolling

For foam rolling I use the elitefts Foam Roller 36x6.

I foam roll my entire body regardless of what I am training. I think it is a good habit to get into but, at the very least, you should foam roll your back. Foam rolling (or myofascial release) relieves tension in the muscle tissue and fascia. It also promotes blood flow to those areas, which is perfect in the warm-up setting.


upper and lower back

Upper and Lower Back

I like to bring my arms around to open up my upper back in between my shoulder blades. You want to make sure to roll through your upper and lower back. You can also move slightly to the left and right to focus on your erectors directly. Roll up and down the spine for 30 seconds to one minute working out the kinks and hot spots.

Band Work

For band work I like to use the elitefts Pro Micro Resistance Band. Bands create a unique amount of tension when performed throughout a range of motion, allowing for additional stretching, blood flow, and increased mobility overall.

face pull

Band Pull Aparts

This shouldn’t be difficult. You want to get some nice range of motion and blood flow during this exercise. You also want to keep your upper back contracted, shoulder blades squeezed together the whole time. This should be light and pumpy. 2-3 sets of 20 reps.

overhead pull aparts

Overhead Band Pull Aparts

Start with the band overhead but instead of squeezing back you want to squeeze your shoulder blades down and back. Like before, your upper back should remain contracted the whole time. 2-3 sets of 20 reps.

pass throughs

Band Pass Throughs

Here you are simply taking the band up and around your head to stretch the chest and open up the shoulder. Start by holding the ends of the band, and as you get more flexible you can wrap the band around your hands for more tension. 2-3 sets of 20 reps.

Lower Body Days

Foam Rolling

Again I foam roll my entire body regardless….but below are some basic lower body areas you should focus on.

Glute Max and Med

I like to take my ankle over my knee to really hit my gluteus medius since that is a tight spot for me. You want to make sure you roll your entire glute area (both sides) but really focus on those hot spots if you have any. Roll on this area for 30 seconds to one minute each side.

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I like to roll each hamstring individually as well. Roll from the bottom of your glute, all the way to the top of behind the knee. Again if you have a hot spot focus on that area a little more. Roll for 30 seconds to one minute each side.

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Similar to the hamstrings, roll from below the back of the knee to the back of the top of the ankle. You can also point your toes outward and inward to hit various spots around the calf. Roll for 30 seconds to one minute each side.

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Quads and Adductors

I like to kill two birds with one stone, and hit my quad and adductor in the same movement. I put most of my weight on my straight leg but open my hip and bend my opposite knee to roll the adductor on that side. You can also roll the outer sides of your quads and IT band area if that is a trouble spot for you as well. Roll 30 seconds to one minute each side.

Band Work

I like to use the elitefts Pro Light Resistance Band for my lower body band work.

banded leg raise

Banded Leg Raises

I wrap the band around my foot so it is secure, keeping my foot flexed I raise and lower my leg stretching my hamstring and calf. After 20 reps, I complete 10 ankle flexions at the top and bottom. Ankle flexions are done by just pointing and flexing your foot. Complete 2-3 sets of 20 reps each leg.

ad ab stretch

Adductor and Abductor Stretch

For the adductor (inside of the leg) stretch I like to extend my banded leg but also bend my opposite leg to get an additional stretch on that side as well. I complete 10 ankle flexions in this position. For the abductor stretch I am simply reaching my leg over my body, keeping tension on the band, and completing 10 ankle flexion as well. Complete 2-3 sets each side.


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Quad/Hip Flexor Stretch

Keeping my foot secure with the band I reach my leg back pulling the band overhead. You want to keep your leg and knee parallel to the ground. Don’t let your leg flair up and out. Apply tension here for 30 seconds to one minute, 2-3 sets each leg.

In addition to each of these techniques, make sure to warm up those areas a little more that may be tighter for you, keeping in mind the training session you have planned. If your training session is primarily volume-based, you still need to get those muscles and joints ready to rock. Your warm-up doesn’t have to be crazy, but prepare an extra 10 minutes before to warm up in order to prevent injury and get the most bang for your buck in the long run!