Fitness enthusiasts as well as beginners must know that the value of warm up exercises is as essential as the workout itself. Workouts without warming up causes premature fatigue, muscle strains, injury and even decreased range of motion and flexibility. Exercises that help your blood circulate through the muscles and to different organs in the body before your main exercises promotes circulation as well as adaption to the forthcoming workout loads you are about to undergo. There are different exercises that you can perform with your warming up routine. These are the simple and the most essential warming sessions that you must have. Perform these exercises approximately thirty to fifteen minutes before your main program.
One of the best methods to perform your warm up session is to start with flexibility exercises such as stretching. Stretching exercises promote blood flow to the muscles allowing a full range of motion before your exercises. It also means your muscles will be loose, allowing better movement before your game. Here are some of them:
The Quadriceps Stretch
This stretching exercise can be performed by standing on both feet, while holding onto a pole or a wall for support. Then grasp your feet by reaching your toes and pulling your feet backwards to your buttocks until you feel the stretch on your quadriceps. Hold this warm up position for thirty seconds then repeat on the other side.
The Hamstring Stretch
There are many warm up exercises that involve the hamstring muscles. However, one of the best stretches for the hamstring is the seated hamstring stretch. Start by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Then spread your legs as wide apart from each other. Bend on your hips forward, reaching for your right foot. Hold this position for thirty seconds then repeat on the other side. Maintain your legs as straight as possible throughout the move to avoid undue strain to the legs and to keep the strict stretch on your hamstrings.
The Hip Stretch
The hip stretch is an essential warm up exercise that helps the flexibility of the hips, which is often important when performing daily activities or sporting activities. Start the hip stretch by assuming a kneeling position by kneeling down, and by placing your left knee on the floor and your right forward foot, flat in front of you. Then extend your left hand over heads, reaching to your right side until you feel the stretch in your oblique. Count and hold the position for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side by switching your legs, this time with your left foot forward.
The Knee Chest Stretch
Perform this warm up exercise by lying flat on the floor maintaining your heels as flat as possible on the floor. Start the next step by pulling your left knee up to your chests as high as possible while maintaining the other leg as relaxed as possible while either keeping it straight or bent at a comfortable degree. Hold this position for about thirty seconds then switch legs and repeat on the other side.
Aside from warming up with your stretching exercises, you can also perform other active warm up sessions before your workout. Here are some of them:
Start the jumping jack exercise by assuming a standard position with your feet shoulder width apart. Then jump as high as you can then at the peak of your jump clap your hands together at the top with your feet closing in together while you are on air. As you land, assume once again the starting position then jump once again for another repetition. Repeat for as many reps as 50 reps. This exercise warms the legs and the arms and is also a good cardio workout.
- Whether you perform your workouts with heavy or lightweight, it is essential and healthy for your joints to start with warm up exercises such as push-ups, body weight squats and sit ups. These exercises target the shoulders, chests the core and the legs. Using body weight exercises also prepares the muscles and familiarizes your muscles for the movement and heavy training you are about to perform.
- When searching for a great warm up session, you can also consider performing light cardio workouts. These light cardio workouts can be performed by running on the treadmill using moderate speed, using jumping ropes and even jogging. A maximum cardio session of fifteen minutes is enough to keep your blood pumping for your next main workout session. Brisk walking is also a great alternative for your cardio routine. There are also other running activities that you can do such as sprinting and/or sprinting with resistance bands.
- Another efficient method is to go straight to your man lift for example the bench press, and by lifting light weights during your first two sets. You can increase the load thereafter by adding more weights for your next three or four sets. This technique promotes blood flow to the chests muscles that stimulates growth and optimum performance for the next heavier sets. You can also perform this technique when doing squats, barbell rows or shoulder presses.
Start with exercises such as the plank exercise.
Since your core works the hardest during any of your lifting exercises, it may also be good for you to start with these. The plank exercise targets the core as well as the lower back and the shoulders. Start this exercise by assuming a push up position with your forearms supporting you. Keep your legs as straight as possible from your heels to your head. Contract your abdominal muscles and hold this position for thirty seconds and repeat for four to five sets.
Warm up exercises are vital aspects of your workout. They help you adapt to a certain exercise to promote blood flow, to lubricate the joints thereby avoiding injury and muscle strains. Devoting thirty minutes before each workout is enough but make sure that a certified trainer is present to supervise you with unfamiliar activities and stretches.
[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Jordann Campose is a fitness enthusiast and instructor. He currently works as a health care professional with part time work as a fitness instructor and weight loss teacher for people seeking results that will help boost their confidence and strengthen their whole being.[/stextbox]