Breaking Down Your Warm Up

Breaking Down Your Warm UpAnyone who’s ever felt the stabbing pain that comes with being insufficiently warmed up for a workout can appreciate there is a real benefit associated with pre-workout preparedness. For that purpose, dynamic stretching is incredibly effective at minimizing muscle soreness as well as rushing blood (and oxygen) to the muscles you’re about to work. Additionally, dynamic stretching helps elevate the heart rate, readying lungs and the heart for a moderate increase in cardio level. Try these warm up moves to get moving.

Trunk Twists – Place feet shoulder width apart. Raise arms to shoulder level. Bend arms at elbows, keeping palms parallel to floor. Start twisting at the torso, from one side to the other, keeping elbows in line with shoulders. Aim to get the full range of twisting motion from side to side. Repeat for about 30-45 seconds.

High Knees -  Watch any professional team warm up from soccer, to American Football and several other sports in between and you will see this exercise included in their warm up. To get started give yourself an open walkway and walk forward stretching your knees to your chest. If you don't have the space simply hold on to a side rail and swing your knee back and front.

Jumping Jacks – Tried and true, you’ve been doing these since grade school. And they still work. Do a set of about 20 jumping jacks, keeping arms fully extended instead of bent at elbows and touching hands directly overhead on each jack. Repeat twice.

Body Rolls – If you’ve ever watched Dancing with the Stars, you’ve seen this move. Stand up straight, shoulders relaxed. Begin by shifting your shoulders back, isolating them from the rest of your body. This will cause your chest to puff out. Then, ripple your body backwards attempting to isolate each body part as you roll down through the chest, torso, hips and legs. Then do the reverse, rolling your body upward from legs to head. Repeat, trying to increase your range of motion as you go.

Lunge with Trunk Twist - Incorporate all muscles groups by twisting your upper body with arms extended in front from one side to the next when you get down in the lunge position. Repeat for 5 to 10 strides (space allowing).

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