Warm Up Routine

Here is my routine that I do before any class, rehearsal, or performance to warm up my body and get my blood flowing and my muscles stretched.  This is a transient conditioning routine, so be careful (see All About Conditioning post.)

All non-barre exercises are done with a mat.
Exercises can be modified if needed.


  • Meditation and visualization session
  • Head and shoulder circles
  • Port de bras in 6th – bending at 90 degrees
  • Rag doll pose
  • Walk hands forward, down to knees
  • Downward facing dog/Cat and cow series: Do 2 sets of cat/cow, push back to down dog, hold for 4 counts, lower back to flat back for 4 counts, repeat 5 times
  • Spinal twist
  • Turnout yoga series: chair pose, high lunge, warrior 1, warrior 2
General Pilates (Pilates mat work is done along with cardio.  Pilates resistance work is done before stretching because it is more targeted and specific to certain body parts.)
  • 1 minute low plank
  • 1 minute high plank
  • 5 abdominal series: single leg stretch (8 reps), double leg stretch (8 reps), scissors (8 reps), lower lift (8 reps), criss cross (8 reps)
  • 1 minute half bridge
  • Modified bridge (5 10-count reps each leg)
  • 20 abdominal series: regular crunches, 90 degree rotating reach crunches, toe touch crunches, bicycles
  • Run around studio 4 times
  • 20 jumping jacks
Specific Pilates & Stretching
  • Feet
    • Thera band exercises
    • Prances
  • Calves
    • Elevés in 6th position w/ ball inbetween heels
    • High lunge
  • Quadricpes
    • Pretzel stretch
  • Hamstrings
    • Pike stretch w/ pointed and flexed feet
  • Hips
    • Clamshell w/ resistance series
    • Basic glute stretch
    • Crossover stretch
    • Butterfly
    • Frog
  • Back
    • Back up series
    • Cobra pose
  • Split series
    • Half pigeon pose
    • Low lunge
    • Double lunge quad stretch
  • Barre series
  • Extension series
  • Massage
    • Arches
    • Calves
    • Shins
    • Quads and IT bands
Final preparations
  • Dynamic stretching: Prances, attitude cloche, arm scissors
  • Final stretching

2 thoughts on “Warm Up Routine

  1. Great routine! I do have a question: how early do you get to class in order to do all of this? And what would you say are the most important parts to keep if I want to shorten it a little?

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