Four General Warm-Ups to Add Routine and Time to Class

With a background in high-level team sports, I was always torn when I transitioned to CrossFit.

With a background in high-level team sports, I was always torn when I transitioned to CrossFit. Half of me loved the novelty of each day’s warm-up, but the other half of me yearned for routine and the mental space a standard basic warm-up afforded me throughout my baseball career.

At Deuce Gym in Venice, California, we have four standard general warm-ups that are quick and efficient. Thereafter, we get more specific with mobilizations and activations based on the day’s training, but we are able to put our athletes in a routine mental space to train, make sure they’re warmed up in multiple planes, and ensure they’re ready to move on to learning and practicing movement in just a couple of minutes.

Fast Feet

This is our most common, go-to general warm-up, which was inspired by coach Lizzy Riley back at her CrossFit Central days. Once the class learns the cues, you can do this start to finish extremely well in four minutes.

Students normally stand in a circle and move via coach’s verbal cues:

  • 15 seconds Fast Feet or Football Chatter
  • 15 seconds Butt Kickers (hamstring activation)
  • 1 Squat Hold + 9 Air Squats
  • 10 Trunk Twists
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Seconds Fast Feet or Football Chatter
  • 15 Seconds Butt Kickers (hamstring activation)
  • 10 Jump Squats
  • 5 Low to High Trunk Twists
  • 5 Low to High Trunk Twists (opposite direction)
  • 5 Narrow Push-Ups + 5 Wide Push-Ups
  • 400-Meter Run

The coach should move through the verbal cues fairly quickly. I normally get the crew out the door in three minutes for the 400-meter run (two minutes if we hustle).

Dot Drill

Imagine five dots in the formation of the No. 5 on a dice except in a rectangle formation (2 feet wide by 3 feet tall). The warm-up we do is quick and efficient, and only gets better with experience.


Two Feet “Around the World” x 10. Athletes start with two feet together on the bottom left dot with the goal being to make 10 counterclockwise revolutions, always jumping to the middle dot before advancing counterclockwise, all the while facing forward.

One Foot “Around the World” x 6 (each). This is the same format as the two-foot drill with added unilateral challenges.

Adult Hop Scotch x 10. With one foot on the bottom left dot and one foot on the bottom right dot, the athlete jumps to the middle dot with his/her right foot, then jumps to two feet on the back two dots. This is one half of a rep. Once at the back two dots, the athlete will jump 180 degrees to change his/her facing direction on the back two dots, then jump to his/her left foot on the middle dot, and finally jump to two feet on the front two dots. This is one rep. The athlete should do 10 efforts as quickly as he/she can be accurate.

Four Minutes of Jumping

This general warm-up is done with a jump rope. With a continuously running clock, athletes jump with two feet (single-unders) for the first minute. Minute two is done on the left foot, while minute three is done on the right foot. The last minute is alternating feet.

Built into this warm-up is a penalty for missing on the jump rope. Designed so that nearly all athletes will miss at some point, athletes do a “penalty” of coach’s choice (four push-ups, four squats or four lunges) upon each mistake on the jump rope.

This warm-up is simple and will have everyone ready to move in exactly four minutes.

Junkyard Dog

If you’ve spent anytime at all with coach Mike Burgener, you know this one. This warm-up is done with a partner. With one partner seated with straight legs out in front and arms out to his/her sides in a “T,” the jumping athlete will complete a two-legged jump from behind the seated athlete’s right shoulder over his/her arm, followed by a jump over his/her partner’s outstretched legs, and a third jump over his/her partner’s left arm. This is one rep. Each partner completes 10 reps, then they switch roles. Immediately following, the jumping partner jumps over his/her kneeling partner’s back and crawls under his/her partner once he/she pushes up into a Downward Dog position. This is one rep. Each partner does 10 before switching.

Surely, these warm-ups are quick and general ways to get an athlete or group of athletes’ day started, but you might find that the speed and efficiency of them get the job done and carve out more time in class to learn movement.

Logan Gelbrich @functionalcoach
Founder – Original Nutritionals & Deuce Gym