Skip Nav

The Best Stretches Before a Weightlifting Workout

Bookmark This Stretching Routine Before Your Next Weightlifting Session

Wasit up image of a fit, young African American woman working out with hand weights in a fitness gym.
You walk onto the weightlifting floor and see the cable machine is completely in the clear — a rarity.

While it might be tempting to skip a proper stretching routine to get those tricep pulldowns done before a crowd takes over, it's really not the best idea.

Not only does stretching reduce the chances of injury and increase your flexibility, it preps your body for the movements ahead, leading to a better workout.

ADVERTISEMENT

Simply touching your toes — or the static stretch-and-hold method — isn't going to cut it, though.

"Dynamic stretching is without a doubt the best way to approach any work out, especially weightlifting," Joel Okaah, CSCS, certified personal trainer for D1 Training, explains.

"Think of the act of weightlifting — pushing and pulling with the addition of weight to strengthen muscles. Dynamic stretching is doing just that but without the added weight, making it the perfect prep."

While priming the muscles for hard work and preparing joints, tendons, and ligaments for lifting, Okaah says dynamic warmups also help to get the blood moving.

Set aside at least eight to 10 minutes to warm up before moving onto lifting, and give this dynamic stretching routine from Okaah a shot.

  • Jumping jacks: 30 seconds.
  • Walking lunges with twist: One minute.
    • Hold a medicine ball out in front of you, or simply clasp hands together in front of you.
    • Stand upright, feet together, and take a controlled step forward with your right leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles.
    • Your back knee should point toward but not touch the ground, and your front knee should be directly over the ankle.
    • Keeping hips forward, turn upper body toward forward leg.
    • Stand up by bringing your leg back to meet the front leg.
    • Repeat on the other side.
  • Forward skip: One minute.
  • Standing arm circles: One minute.
  • High knees: 30 seconds.
  • Side lunges: One minute.
  • Leg swings: 30 seconds each leg.
  • Walking lunges to hamstring stretch: Two minutes.
    • Take a step forward with your right leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles.
    • As you begin to stand, drive your feet in the ground to lift up, right leg in front of the other.
    • Bend forward, hinging at the hips.
    • Your back should be straight and parallel to the ground.
    • Lift up, step together.
    • Repeat on the other side.

Click here for more health and wellness stories, tips, and news.

Image Source: Getty Images / Mireya Acierto
Latest Health & Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds