Warming up before a workout is incredibly important, as it increases oxygen and blood flow to your muscles. By getting your muscles ready to exercise, you can reduce the risk of injury, and perhaps even push your body to a new personal best.
So, if you are looking to add a warm up to your workout routine, here are 5 exercises you should try.
Marching on the spot
Essentially, you need to hold the position that you would if you were going on a walk. However, whilst a walk is more natural, each movement should be done with intention. This will make the exercise look less like a walk, and more like a forward march.
However, marching with intention can cause your feet to have a stronger impact with the floor. If this ever hurts your knees, reduce the intensity of the march, or go for a lower impact alternative such as walking on the spot.
Marching on the spot will warm up your core, arms, and hip flexors, as well as training your balance.
Going for a slow jog is the perfect way to start your workout routine. The trick here is to not push yourself too hard – even if you know you can run faster, set a slow pace that gets your heart rate up.
If you typically do your workouts from home, jogging is ideal, as it is a very flexible exercise. You could either take a jog outside around your neighborhood or even jog inside.
To jog inside, you might need a treadmill, or you could jog from side to side of the room. If you are short on space, you can find a great range of mini treadmills or foldable treadmills for that matter, or simply jog on the spot.
Star jumps (or jumping jacks)
Keep your feet together, with your arms by your sides. Now jump! As you jump, move your feet until they are hip distance apart, and lift your arms above your head to create a ‘V’ shape. Then, jump back to the original position, and repeat.
Star jumps are particularly great at getting your heart rate up and warming up your hip flexors.
Put your hands out in front of you about hip height, with your palms facing down. Lift your right knee to touch your right hand, then your left knee to touch your left hand, and repeat. To increase the intensity, you can increase the speed (almost like you are running on the spot), or lift your knees higher.
High knees are great for warming up your hamstrings, core, quads, and calves.
Place your hands on your butt, palms facing away from your body. Now try and touch your right hand with your right foot, then the left hand with your left foot. Repeat, and get the speed up so the kicks are nice and quick.
Bum kicks are particularly popular with runners, as they can be used in a quick warm up routine with high knees before setting off.
So, there you have it – 5 warm up exercises you should incorporate into your workout routine, ensuring that you can go harder, for longer, and reduce the risk of injury.