The Perfect Warm Up
The purpose of a warm-up is to prepare your body for the exercise or activity you will be doing. When done correctly, a warm up will improve your overall movement and reduce the chances of injury. It’s an important process that shouldn’t be overlooked as it also activates your nervous system and muscles, increases mobility, prepares the joints for movements and increases your heart rate and blood flow, allowing oxygen and nutrients to get around the body.
Along with the benefits it holds prior to exercise, your warm up is also valuable to the overall functioning of your body. The more specific your warm-up, the more it will improve your mobility and flexibility. Joint and muscular pain is often associated when the body becomes imbalanced or immobile. So doing your warm-up properly will have plenty of carry over into your day to day life, reducing the chances of pain.
The key to a great warm up is to do movements similar to those you will be doing in your session. These movements should be full-body, dynamic and prepare both your joints and muscles for work. Ideally warm-ups should be personalised and specific to what you will be doing, but if you aren’t really doing a proper warm up at this stage, then this will be a great place to start.
Here are 6 full body movements you can start doing straight away to improve your warm up.
1. Squats with side-sides – 10/20s
Complete 5 Squats with feet shoulder width apart and 5 Squats with a wider stance. Then squat hold and move side to side for up to 20s.
2. Bent Over Swings – 20-30s
Place hands behind your back and bring your shoulder blades together. Then bend forward keeping your back straight and swing your shoulders side to side for 20s.
3. Lunges with Rotations – 6
Lunge forward, then rotate your upper body left to right keeping your body upright and hips straight. Then lift arms above your head without arching your lower back. Stand and repeat on both sides for 6 reps.
4. Windmills – 20-30s
With a wide stance, bend forward keeping your back straight. Then hold your arms out and rotate side to side bending the knee at the same time for 20s.
5. Pikes – 6
Starting in a push up position, drive your hips up and your weight back onto your heels, pushing your head and shoulders towards your toes. Pause at the top of the movement and then repeat 6 times.
6. Hip Raises – 10
Lying on your back with your legs bent, squeeze your glutes and push down through your heels, lifting your hips up. Repeat for 10 reps.
Yours in fitness,
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