Warming up for Squats

How does everyone here warm up for squats? I do some light squats and leg extensions before going heavy… but even at light weight my knees don’t feel good on squats (they get better as I begin to go heavy). What’s a good way to warm up for squats that targets the knees and lower back specifically?

i like to jog a few hundred meters, and then run an easy (28 seconds or so) 200 meter sprint. And then move to light squats, it works well for me. But it may not for you, so experement with different peoples recommendations.

I start off with 6 minutes on the bike. Then im sure to stretch my entire lower body as Ian King has suggested paying special attention to my piriformis and hip flexors. Then i do body weight squats for about ten reps. Then i do five reps with the bar. Then i do another 5 warmups before i hit my max poundages for the day. it takes about 30 minutes but i would rather err on the side of caution than to not be able to squat for 3 months.

I dont warm at all. Well what what I do is throw a plate on each side and slowly but very strictly do about 12-18 reps with my feet straight out.

I usually ride the bike for 10min, then I strech well. I start with a plate on each side, then move up slowly (135X10, 225X8, 275X6, and then 315X6) then I strech again, then I start my workout. It helps you be able to do more weight, and gets you into a “groove” so you have better form on your squats. It also prevents injuries, so warming up is really something you need to do before lifting.

I usually walk for about 10minutes, do some incline situps (works abs + hip flexors)and start with some light squats. Also, are you making a point to push your ass backwards (vs. just descending)? If I don’t use correct form than I feel it my knees (or back) everytime.

I warm up with 6 minutes on the Liferower, then some stretching, followed by 1 set of slow tempo, bodyweight squats. - Nylo

Jog or ride a stationary bike for 5 min or so, then do bar only squats until things feel loose. If your lower back still feels tight, maybe do some back extensions or lower back stretches. Hope this helps, now get your squat on! Mack

I always warmup light 135lbs for atleast 20 reps. Anything over 225lbs I rap my knees! Wear a good belt. And find a spot on the wall to focus on.

Thanks for all the suggestions.

I’m not sure about wrapping my knees for anything above 220. As long as my knees are warm, everything’s cool. Besides wraps take too long and as soon as there’s something supportive (belt, wraps, whatever) then something isn’t getting trained that should be. Unless of course its for a 1 rep max (which is useless unless your a powerlifter – even then, only really necessary in competition).

Why not try ascending sets on the incline leg press, its not a multi-joint excercise so you don’t get as winded as in doing squats but your legs get warmed up and full of blood.

I do 5-6 minutes on the bike,stretch,then 2 sets of back hypers,3 sets of extentions in-between 3 sets of lying leg curls, squat with the bar then carry on squating 3 for more sets.after that I do stiff leg deads 2 sets, leg presses 4 sets,seated calf raises 4 sets , standing calf raises 3 sets,finish up with 1 last set of leg extentions and lying leg curls.sorry but I thought while I was on the subject I would give you my leg routine.
I like to keep the weight high and the reps between 12-6 sometimes I go down to 4. depends on what I feel like.I rest between 1-2 minutes between sets,let me know what you think.

I walk in, load it with my workout weight and start squatting.
After reading some of Pavel’s great work I don’t believe in warming up. Like he says in the animal kingdom animals must perform at full function from cold. If they didn’t they’d be dead.
A few joint rotations then straight to work.
No problems so far, and I have walked staright into 405lb squats, even 440lb triples (which is heavy for me)
Save the energy fot the work sets!!

I walk for about 5 min on the treadmill. I then do 4-5 sets on the hipsled at a moderate weight. This really helps to loosen hips up and it gets a good amount of blood in the entire leg and glutes. Then a coule minutes of stretching the entire body. Load the bar with a couple plates a side and do very strict form for a couple sets. I never wrap my knees unless I’m going for heavy singles or doubles and I also dont wear a belt until I hit about 5 plates per side.

i like what wrecker said. basically a good heavy set could be your first set. Don’t mean to sound stupid BUT when I first started lifting weights which was 2 years ago, I never warmed up. Nobody ever thoguht me this ( I was 15 yrs old) I had been starting off heavy and just kept going on that weight or went heavier. I probably never went over 6 reps. For 6-8 months now I started the concept of warming up in all my exercises and though it seems to make sense, but is it really necesarry? I mean you will grow big muscles even if you dont warm up, as long as form and technique are there. After saying this I’d like to add that I am a fairly big guy and bench a good amount for my body weight. Any thoughts on this???
Also when I warm up for squats the warm up sets take away alot of my energy for the heavier sets. Why cant u just go heavy. I dont think injuries have affected me in any way because I seem to be doing fine w/o injuries all this time, or until I started warming up.

No, warming up is important. Besides preventing injuring, having more blood in the area increases performance.

I have had persistent knee problems from various motocross injuries and used to have real trouble with warming up. Then I started wearing a few layers of that stetchy bandage stuff they put on old ladies’ wrists when they fall over. It gives a tiny bit of support but most of all it warms and helps retain knee joint heat. Dirt cheap as well.

I warm up for 10 minutes on the stationary bike and then stretch out for another 10 minutes. I then start with the bar, and move up from there. I also started including an Ian King tip, which is wearing neoprene knee sleeves to keep the knees warm. This helps. Also, I have rubbed a product on my knees called “Nicoflex”, and then put on the knee sleeves. This stuff is the hottest balm I’ve ever used. The more you start to sweat the hotter this stuff gets, but it really helps keeps the knees warm. I like it.

I’ve found that if I’ve been at work (on my feet for 8-10 hrs or more straight through) then I need to warm up more than if I work out on the weekend. Any thoughts as to why? My work consists of continuous walking.