Tip of the Day: Great Easy Warm-up Exercises

Today I am going to give you some great warm up exercises that you can do at home before you work out!

Typically a warm-up should be between 5 and 10 minutes long, this will warm up your muscles and get your hear rate up high enough for your more intense workout you are having afterwards. There are two different types of warm-ups you can do; dynamic and static.  So I am going to give you some great examples of both!

Dynamic-

A dynamic warm-up is going to get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. This should always be done before you do your static warm-up! Some good examples for your dynamic warm-up would be:

High Knees-

  • This is basic running form while bringing the knees up higher than normal – ideally beyond your waistline.
  • Aim to keep your feet moving as fast as possible and your ankles, knees, hips and shoulders facing forwards.

Butt Kicks-

  • Similar to high knees except you keep your thighs perpendicular to the ground while kicking your heels up towards your backside.
  • Move fast and keep ankles, knees, hips and shoulders in alignment.

Grape Vines-

  • Moving laterally to your left, cross your right foot in front of your left.
  • Then step with your left, then cross your right foot behind the left and repeat.
  • Aim for as much hip rotation as possible and keep those feet moving fast!
  • If performed correctly, this looks like a new dance move!

You could also always do a light jog or jump rope for 5-10 minutes to get your heart rate up and your muscles warm. After your dynamic warm-up its time for your static warm-up stretching!

Static-

Now a static warm-up would just be stationary stretching like a good-morning stretch (don’t those always feel so good!) But we learned on Monday that it isn’t good to stretch cold muscles so make sure you always do your static warm-up after your dynamic warm-up. Some examples for your static warm-up would be:

Hands up over your head to stretch your back-

  • Link your fingers above your head and pull slightly upward to stretch out your back.

Standing Quad Stretch-

  • Stand on one leg (grab onto something solid if you need support).
  • Bend your knee and bring your heel toward your buttock.
  • Reach for your ankle with your hand.
  • Stand up straight and feel a slight pull along the front of your thigh and hip.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, release and repeat on the other leg.

Be careful not to strain your knee – the goal is not to touch your heel to the buttock, but rather to stretch the thigh.

Shoulder Stretch-

  • Cross one arm horizontally over your chest, grasping it with either your hand or   forearm, just above the elbow joint.
  • Exhale, slowly pulling your upper arm in toward your chest.
  • Aim to keep the hips and shoulders facing forward throughout the stretch.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, release and repeat on the other arm.

Side Lunge-

  • Stand upright, with both feet facing forward, double shoulder-width apart.
  • Place your hands on your hips, in order to keep your back straight, slowly exhale, taking your bodyweight across to one side.
  • Avoid leaning forward, or taking the knee of the bent leg over your toes. As you increase the stretch, the foot of the bent leg should point slightly outward.
  • To increase the stretch, relax upward, slowly sliding your feet out a few inches to the sides.
  • Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, release and repeat of the other leg.

After you are done doing your dynamic and static warm-ups your ready for your regular exercise routine! Come back tomorrow to check out some great cool down exercises!!

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