Warm up for Bootcamp

Author: Loren Bakker

A great 5 – 10 minute warm up for bootcamp to improve our muscles dynamics so we are less inclined to injury, prepare us for the rigors of exercise. And getting a light sweat on without fatigue is key in our group sessions, but it also helps to get both ourselves and our participants in the right headspace for the workout right?! 

Today I’d like to share how we at FEO structure our warm ups, as they are such a crucial part of our sessions, and just as important as structuring the actual training component.

There are 3 distinct components of our  warm ups – Non Specific, Specific and Fitness games.

Let’s break them down –


Stretches and drills that can be done regardless of what’s involved in your session ie. light jogging/walking, general range of motion exercises ie. squat hold, side lunges, cobras


Stretches and drills that are programmed within the session, i.e., if you have weighted squats, including body weight squats in your warm up will help to prepare the body for that movement.


Yes, We use games as part of the warm up to get everyone moving and prepared, but it’s also a great way to get everyone interacting and engaging with one another. When including games at the beginning of class it really helps to break the ice.


I recommend a combination of all of the above and in the same order. 

2 minutes of non specific, 2 – 3 minutes of specific and 4 – 5 minutes of a game.

Starting with non-specific so that those who are late can join in at any time, then specific as it’s more important to prepare them for the upcoming exercises and then the game at the end so that everyone is there when you are explaining it so no one is confused and it runs smoothly.

I always like to do a very similar non-specific warm up to start my session which includes a 1 minute light  jogging drill followed by 1 minute of high knees and heel flicks. 

For the light jogging drill, I have my crew jog around a small area and encourage everyone to go at their own pace – faster joggers on the outside and slower joggers on the inside to avoid traffic jams….this is also a great opportunity to ask the group if anyone has any injuries to come and let you know whilst everyone else is occupied rather than them having to tell the whole group whilst giving me time to think and prepare for the more specific part of the warm up.

And for the high knees and heel flicks, the participants continue in the same space but i let them know that when I clap my hands that they are to complete 5 seconds of high knees or heel flicks before changing direction of their jogging, which is great to increase the intensity of the warm up and add a little agility.

Moving on to the specific part of the warm up…. I like to add slight variations to the movements that will be performed in the workout to increase range of motion and mobility.

If I have programmed squats, lunges, swings and push ups for example,  I’ll include squat holds with elbows pushing knees out, side to side lunges, inchworms with push ups to updogs.

And finally the fun part, GAMES! Here are a couple that I’ve found work really well to get the group interacting and laughing! 


A fun and easy game to explain at the start of session, is suited to all fitness levels and no equipment required.

Line your participants up in 3 lines of 4, or 5 lines of 3 etc. The instructor yells a direction of left/right and all participants move in that direction whilst keeping the formation of their line and even spacing. Do this for a minute or so until everyone gets used to their line and space before adding another direction to the forward and back.

The next directions are up and down, every time you say up, they perform a star jump, when you say down they perform a squat hold. Continue mixing up directions, left/ right/up/down and if someone moves in the wrong direction their whole line performs a burpee and then rejoins the game. Make it a little trickier as the game goes on calling the directions faster.

Scissors, Paper, Rock 

Another great game to play as its easy to explain and most will have played it at some stage in their life. Have your participants create two lines facing each other. The person in front of them will be their first opponent.

The instructor calls scissors, paper, rock and the loser will perform 3 star jumps, if its a tie, they both do the start jumps. Do 3 or 4 rounds with the same pairs and then have the 1 person at the start of the line run to the back so the game continues with a different partner. Remember to keep it quite fast paced to really keep them moving!

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Blog distributed by: Loren Bakker

Loren Bakker 

Cert 3 & 4 in Fitness
PT business owner
Yoga Teacher