Warming up on the treadmill definitely won’t hurt your training (unless you’re operating at maximum intensity and getting too fatigued) but it’s also not the most ideal way to warm up for a class – or for anything other than running really…

The main point of a warm-up is to enhance your performance and guard against injury.  It does this by:

  • Raising core and muscle temperature
  • Decreasing stiffness (improving range of movement) and joint viscosity
  • Increasing nerve-conduction rate (stimulating neural pathways)
  • Mobilizing the aerobic system
  • Providing post activation potentiation – encourage dormant muscles to engage.
  • Ensuring you’re ready psychologically

The type of warm-up you should do depends on the subsequent task, your physical capabilities, environmental considerations, etc.

Exercises should move from simple to complex and from low intensity to high intensity.  The warm-up needs to increase temperature enough, but shouldn’t significantly fatigue you.  Mobility drills which place an emphasis on the movement requirements of Hapkido rather than on individual muscles are excellent warm-up activities and should help to enhance performance.  Things like inch worms, scap-ups, multi-directional  lunges, cossacks, spiderman, frog squats and leg swings are all excellent drills.

A traditional Hapkido class always starts with Dan Jon Ho Hup practice.  If we look at this exercise from a simple physiological perspective, we notice that it incorporates gentle squatting, hip opening and arm/shoulder movement.  It helps us to activate the core musculature, expand our chest and teaches us to retract the scapular for good shoulder movement and stability.  As we move through the start of class these activities build in intensity, gently opening up the whole body.

If you want to enhance your warm-up by incorporating some additional mobility drills into your pre-class routine CHA students can access the member’s area for some great suggestions.


Why do martial artists perform patterns (forms / hyung)? Find out here.

Will warming up for 10 minutes on the treadmill help me in Hapkido class?