I'm as guilty as anyone by taking a pre-workout drink, stepping right into the squats or deadlifts, and using the bar and small jumps in weight as a "warm-up." And while I didn't do this all this time, I am thankful I didn't get hurt the few times I did. The lower body warm-up I'm about to show you is not a hidden secret or me trying to sell snake oil. I do it with all my athletes and program it with all the powerlifters I have helped the last 13 years at my facility.


Like most dynamic warm-ups, this will increase blood flow to the muscles used to train the lower body. While no warm-up will eliminate the chance of an injury, this warm-up can decrease the chances of an injury.

Another benefit with this warm-up is you don't need a lot of space—only about five yards is needed.

Doing this warm-up will also help you stimulate the central nervous system and break a light sweat while preparing you for the lower body training session.

Lower Body Warm-Up

Here are a couple of my clients demonstrating the very simple but effective warm-up.

Lunge Walk

All of these movements start off slow and gradually increase your speed and the range of motion as you go.

For this lower body warm-up, we start off with a basic Lunge Walk and focus on getting both legs to a 90-degree angle. After that, we follow up with a Knee Hug and focus on lifting the heel (on the floor) up when you pull the knee to the chest. After that, we perform a Frankenstein Walk and focus on bringing the foot towards the hand while increasing the range of motion every repetition. We wrap up with a Single-Leg RDL and focus on forming the letter T with the body.

Mobility Work

Next in the lower body warm-up, we shift gears into some mobility work. Doing these few mobility drills will increase muscle elasticity and should transfer into more force production and power with the muscle. We begin with Prone Scorpions and focus increasing the range of motion every repetition. Next, we lay in the supine position and perform Supine Scorpions and focus increasing the range of motion every repetition. After that, we go into a Roll-Over-Into-V-Sit-Stretch. Again, we increase the range of motion every rep. It is important to only roll back as far as you can comfortably, so don't strain or hurt your neck. We then finish up on the ground with Bird Dogs. We then get off the ground and hit an Inchworm progression. Focus on legs straight while keeping contact on the ground with hands. We wrap up with a Sumo-Squat-to-Stretch and focus on holding each one for a second or two. Doing these week after week, you should feel better and not as tight like most powerlifters and athletes generally are.

Wall Squat

This next one gets a lot of heat on the net and especially social media. Whether you're a "sit back" person or a "knees over the toe is ok" person, this next warm-up drill is awesome for either. I saw Donnie Thompson show this years ago and have always loved it. We straddle over the step boxes but you can do this drill against any wall. We focus on the toes touching the wall while keeping the knees from not touching the wall. If you have trouble with this and don't have a partner to hold the lower back for assistance, you can set a chair or box behind you in case you fall (aka a Box Squat).

Heel Elevated Squats

In this lower body warm-up exercise, we use our angled box and perform some heel elevated squats. Again, if you don't have boxes you can elevate with a small 10-pound plate. For almost everyone, having your heels elevated will allow you to squat deeper due to it requiring less mobility of the ankle. This is a great drill to get "ass to grass" as some say.

Terminal Knee Extensions

We then finish with some Terminal Knee Extensions (TKE's) with either a band around the back of the knee or standing on a small box (see video). This drill is commonly used for rehabilitation and prehabilitation.

Hope this lower body warm-up helps everyone who reads this article. If anyone has questions or comments drop them below. Please feel free to reach out to me by email (tankstrainingfacility@yahoo.com) or shoot me a PM on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) as well.

As a top-ranked super-heavyweight, Chris Janek earned the nickname “Tank.” As a two-time all-state wrestler as well as an all-state, third team all-American football player he received multiple full-ride scholarship offers, choosing to play football for the University of Wisconsin. During his collegiate football career, Janek was a four-year letter winner as well as a two-year starter. He was part of four Bowl Games (two Rose Bowls, in which they won). After college, he furthered his football career with a tryout with the Cleveland Browns and an eight-year career in the now-defunct Arena Football League. He is the owner of Tanks Training Facility in Granite City, Illinois and has devoted himself to multi-ply powerlifting. In 2010, Janek totaled 2660 to win best lifter at the GPC Worlds (in Prague). In 2014, he won first place and best lifter overall at the XPC Finals with a 2725 total.