Okay, I don’t actually know that you’ve never tried these squat warm-up drills before. Maybe you have. But, I don’t see a lot of people (online or IRL) doing these warm-ups, so that leads me to believe that they’re less common than other types of warm-ups. If you have tried these warm-ups before, though, forgive me for making assumptions about you 😉
Alright, let’s get on with it.
A lot of people think of squats as a lower body-only exercise. That’s not really the case, though. Squats work several muscles throughout the body.
Besides strengthening the muscles of the legs, they also strengthen the core, the upper back, the shoulders, and the arms.
Because squats are a full-body exercise, they require a full-body warm-up before you can do them properly.
These two full-body squat warm-up drills are perfect to get your body primed for any type of squat (barbell squats, bodyweight squats, goblet squats, split squats, etc.).
Figure 4 Squats
I have no idea if this is the proper name for these. I just refer to them as Figure 4 Squats because your legs look like the number 4 — Go figure!
These squats are great for warming up the hips and stretching out the glutes before you go into any type of squatting exercise.
They also help to warm up the ankles.
Since you’re standing on one leg while doing them, they challenge your balance, too, and help you engage your core and work on your posture.
To do Figure 4 Squats properly, start by balancing on your right leg. Cross your left leg so that your ankle rests just above your right knee (don’t let it sit directly on the kneecap).
Once you’ve got your balance, slowly lower yourself down into a squat, going as deep as you can without tipping over. If you’re having a hard time balancing, feel free to hold onto the wall or a chair for support.
Monkey Squats w/ Overhead Reach
Again, I have no idea if this is the proper name for this exercise. I don’t even know if it has a name. Whatever they’re called, I love this warm-up and it’s become a staple before I do any kind of squats. It’s especially good for warming up for overhead squats.
This warm-up drill targets all the major muscles you use during a squat. It’s great for ankle, hip, and hamstring mobility, and it helps you work on your posture and stretch out your upper back and shoulders.
Move slowly when you’re doing this exercise and make every movement count. Focus on quality of reps rather than quantity.
Start by standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Raise your arms over your head, lining them up with your ears. Hinge at your hips, keeping your arms in line with your ears. Reach down while keeping your back flat and hook your fingertips under your toes. Bend your knees as much as necessary while doing this.
Once your fingertips are under your toes, bend your knees until you’re in a deep squat. Then, reach overhead again so your arms are in line with your ears. Hold this position for a few seconds, then reverse the movement so that you’re in the hip hinging position again. Then, stand back up with your arms over your head, keeping your back straight as you do so.
It takes a few tries to get this drill down. Once you get it figure out, though, you’ll love doing before every squat session.
Squat Warm-Up Drills Video Breakdown
Give these squat warm-up drills a try before your next workout and let me know how it goes in the comments down below!