Squat injuries happen more frequently without a proper warm-up. Dr. Ryan Smith discusses a few simple movements he uses that can save you from painful complications.

Before starting any exercise, it is imperative that all muscles are warm. A few suggestions are to bike or walk on the treadmill for five-10 minutes before beginning. With winter here, this step is very important to prevent torn-muscles.

Once the muscles are warm, Smith will loosen up the areas he plans on utilizing the most. This depends on the exercises he will be using for his training that day. In this case, Smith prefers the foam roller for back and glutes.

Foam Roller Warm-up Exercise:

Lay down with the foam roller under your back and feet on the floor. Place hands behind head with elbows facing the ceiling. Move back and glutes along roller.

Hips are also very prone to injury, so Smith uses leg swings and hip circles to loosen these areas.

Leg Swings:

Place hand on sturdy object. While standing on one foot, swing the other leg to about waist level in front of and behind your body. This can also be done swinging the leg across the body.

Hip Circles:

Place a stool or other small object directly in front of body. Stand on one foot, while the other is lifted (bending at the knee) over the object in a circular motion.

After these areas are loose, it’s a good idea to activate the abs and glutes. Do not fatigue these areas, just make sure they are properly in working order. This can be accomplished by using planks and bridges.


Place forearms and toes on the ground, with body raised in a straight line and hold. Also can be done on side.


Lay down on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Raise pelvis off the ground and push hips toward the ceiling, but keep your upper back on the ground.

Follow Smith’s simple steps and eliminate a trip to the doctor.


Warm Muscles

Walk or bike for five - 10 minutes for muscles to get warm.


Back and glutes: foam roller.

Hips: leg swings and hip circles.


Core: plank exercises

Glutes: bridge exercise