In Building Your Warm Up: Part 1, I discussed the different components of a the warm up. 

In this blog, I will show you some lift-specific warm ups you can use prior to your lifting sessions.


As a quick reminder, the warm-up can be comprised of the following components:

– Getting warm

– Core activation

– Soft tissue

– Muscle mobilisation

– Joint mobilisation

– Muscle activation

– Integrated mobility

– Explosive


When creating a warm-up, there are 2 key things to take on board:


  • The session you are warming up for
  • Your own specific warm up needs


For example, if you’re about to perform a lower body session with squats as the main exercise, but have horrendous ankle mobility, then you could perform a general warm-up for the squat, but with a main focus on addressing ankle mobility.


The remainder of this blog will give some lift-specific warm up routines for the main lifts – Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Overhead Press.



Squat Specific Warm Up 


  • Get Warm

3 mins skipping


  • Core

KB briefcase carry (20 metres/side):


  • Soft tissue (30-60 seconds/drill) 

Soles of feet (roll ball under foot):

Soft tissue sole of feet


Calves (roll calves over foam roller):

Soft tissue calves

Glutes (roll glutes over ball):

Soft tissue glutes

Hips (roll front of hip over foam roller):

Soft tissue hips


  • Muscle mobilisation

1/2 kneeling adductor mob (10 reps/side):


Quadruped Rocking Piriformis Stretch (10 reps/side):


  • Joint mobilisation

Rocking ankle mob (10 reps/side):


  • Muscle activation

Quadruped end range hip abduction (8 reps/side):


  • Integrated mobility

Bottoms up squat w/overhead reach (8 reps):


  • Explosive

Box jumps (3 x 3 reps):


Deadlift Specific Warm Up 


  • Get Warm

3 mins skipping/jump rope


  • Core

Side Plank 3 x 10 seconds/side:

Side plank


  • Soft tissue


Same as Squat


  • Muscle mobilisation

Rec fem mobillisation (10 reps/side):


  • Joint mobilisation

Quadruped extension-rotation (10 reps/side):


Standing hip hinge (10 reps):


  • Muscle activation

Single leg glute bridge (10 reps/side):


Band lat activation (15 reps):


  • Integrated mobility

Spiderman w/hip lift (5 reps/side):


  • Explosive

Broad jumps (3 x 3 reps):


Bench Press Specific Warm Up 

  • Get Warm

3 mins shadow boxing


  • Core

Not so important for the bench press, so it can be excluded unless you desperately need to work on it


  • Soft tissue (30-60 seconds/drill)

Pecs (roll pecs over ball):

Soft tissue pecs


Posterior shoulder (roll back of shoulder over ball):

Soft tissue posterior shoulder


  • Muscle mobilisation

Side lying windmill (8 reps/side):


  • Joint mobilisation + Muscle activation

Dumbbell flies (8 reps – go VERY light and keep tension on the chest muscles as you lift the weight):


  • Integrated mobility

Yoga push-up (8 reps):


  • Explosive

Explosive push-ups on bench (3 x 3 reps):


Overhead Press Specific Warm Up 


  • Get Warm

3 mins shadow boxing


  • Core

Front plank (3 x 10 seconds):


  • Soft tissue

Same as bench press



  • Muscle mobilisation

T-Spine extension on bench (10 reps):


  • Joint mobilisation

Wall slides (10 reps):


  • Muscle activation

Band pull aparts (15 reps):


  • Integrated mobility

Front wall slide shrug and reach (8 reps):


  • Explosive

Explosive Vertical MB press (3 x 3 reps):


What about if you train the full body?


Pick what’s most important for the first exercise and address it.


For example, if you train the deadlift followed by the bench press, you perform the normal deadlift warm-up, but then add in any bench specific drills that you may require, for example, soft tissue and muscle mobilisation drills if you have a particularly tight shoulders.


Furthermore, once you have finished the deadlifts and before you begin the bench press, you could perform some explosive push-ups.


What Next?


Now that you’re warmed up and ready to go, it’s imperative that you lift with superb technique.


If you want to learn how to use excellent technique in the deadlift, then fill out the form below to download my FREE GUIDE TODAY – it’s like having your very own personal coach alongside you:


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