Warm-Up Exercise: Skip with a Twist

Try this simple warm-up exercise for the core, upper and lower body

The skip with a twist exercise.
The skip with a twist exercise. Dan Mullan/Getty Images

It's essential to warm up before exercise. A proper warm-up helps your body gradually adjust to increasing activity, decreases your risk of injury and results in a more effective workout.

It is literally a warming up of your muscles that increases blood flow so that they are more flexible and elastic, and less susceptible to being torn. A warm up also improves performance during athletic activity, focusing your mind on your body and making the muscles more efficient when they're needed.

The Skip with a Twist Warm Up

There are many ways to warm up, including this simple skip with a twist exercise. This exercise engages the muscles of the core as well as the upper and lower body in a gentle and rhythmic warm up. Include this in a warm-up routine that lasts five minutes, and you will be ready to perform your best while lowering your risk of injury during your workout or sport.

How to Do the Skip with a Twist Warm-Up Exercise

It may seem like a simple exercise that you mastered in grade school, but don't be fooled. A few often overlooked details of this movement are what make it a great warm-up exercise. If you ignore your core and abdominal muscles, you are just skipping and will miss out on half of the benefits of this exercise.

  1. Find a level, open area that allows you to take about 10 full strides. A soccer field is ideal, but you can be creative and use a sidewalk, driveway, park, gymnasium or tennis court as well.
  1. Begin the movement with simple skipping. You will progressively add intensity, range of motion and a twist to each set, but begin with easy small steps. Skip 10 full strides (5 per side), stop and turn around.
  2. In this next set, add a full arm swing and drive your knees a bit higher. Skip 10 full strides (5 per side), stop and turn around.
  1. In the next set, add the torso twist as the soccer players demonstrate in the photo. Take full skipping strides, driving your knees upward and your arms across your body to a full range of motion.
  2. Keep your movements smooth and controlled, not sloppy.

The progression in this warm-up exercise gradually brings more muscles into play with each 10-stride rep, beginning with the leg muscles, then arms, and finally muscles in the torso.

Also See


Andersen, J. C. "Stretching Before and After Exercise: Effect on Muscle Soreness and Injury Risk." Journal of Athletic Training 40(2005): 218-220.

Continue Reading