Like most people working in the modern world, you probably sit behind a desk much of the day. That does lead to tight hips and improper posture, but it doesn’t mean you need a half hour of stretches and corrective exercise before each workout to fix them. Excessive warm ups drain your energy and focus before you get to your heavier lifts, and that compromises their effectiveness.
Spend five to 10 minutes on mobility work, focusing on exercises that extend the spine and hips, says Brian Tabor, C.S.C.S., a San Diego-based personal trainer. Try moves like the hip bridge, where you lie on your back and drive your heels into the floor to raise your butt in the air, and the cat/camel (get on all fours and alternately round and extend your back) before loading up the bar. “Mobility work should get you moving in ways you normally don’t and prep you for the lifts or exercises that you’ll be doing that day,” says Tabor.