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Getting hurt sucks! Right?
Well, whether you are exercising to lose weight, build muscle and/or feel better about yourself, it'd be pretty much impossible to continue doing any of those things lying on your couch with a pulled hamstring, groin or face. Have you ever thought about that?
A bit of pre-workout warm up can help you overcome the risk of such injuries. We understand that most of you prioritise the workout over warming up or the cooling down.
But did you know that getting your body prepared before intense exercising is crucial not only for keeping injuries at bay but it also makes your workout the best as it can be. In fact, the more intense your training routine is, the more importance a proper warm up holds for you.
The myriad advantages of a systematic, thorough warm up include increasing blood flow to working muscles that cuts down your chances of getting muscle stiffness. In another way, warming up prepares you physiologically and psychologically for more extreme workout sessions.
Some Specific Benefits Of Warming Up
- Your body and mind get prepared for strenuous workout routines
- Increases your body's core and muscle temperature
- Helps loosen the muscles while making them supple and pliable.
- Increases both your heart rate and respiratory rate, which is needed to prepare your body for exercise
- Enhances blood flow, and consequently easing the delivery of oxygen and essential nutrients to working muscles
- All this, in tandem, helps to prepare the muscles and tendons for more strenuous activity.
A Well-structured Warm Up Guide
Now we're going to elaborate on how to warm up before an activity, be it exercising or any sport say a game of soccer. The following type of dynamic stretching, that we're going to share, helps your body warm the joints and connective tissues up, also without lengthening your muscle tissues.
Everything you'll learn in this warm up guide is going to involve doing 20 reps of each.
1. Knee Raise- The purpose of knee raise is to stretch your hip joints and muscles. To do this movement, lift your knees up alternatively, bring them as close to your chest as possible, simultaneously crunching your upper body down.
2. Knee Cross- This exercise is more or less similar to the previous one. But the only difference is you pull your knees toward your opposite elbows. This movement warms up your core, to some extent, powering your abs and lower back.
3. Leg Swing (Forward)- To do this movement, you stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding on to a wall or a pole. Keeping one of your legs stationary, you swing the other leg in a smooth motion and then repeat it for another leg until 20 reps. It's a great stretch for the hip flexors.
4. Leg Swing (Sideways)- It's again similar to the previous one but here your legs swing back and forth across your body.
5. Arm Circles (Forward & Reverse)- You do this upper body exercise by standing with your spine straight, inhaling while you lift the arms and exhaling as you rotate your arms around. It engages your core muscles and with every breath you're actually opening up your shoulders and chest.
6. Trunk Rotations- Raise your arm laterally at shoulder level and rotate the torso at about 90 degrees to your right, and then again return rotating to left. It's one of the best mid-body warm up exercises to increase blood circulation.
7. Ankle Rotation (Clockwise & Anticlockwise)- This one seems like a simple exercise but believe us it's very important as it ensures all the little muscles in your feet are warmed up. You just stand still and rotate your feet from the ankle clockwise and anticlockwise.
8. Jog On The Spot- All you need to do is engage your core and jog gently on the spot, while swinging your arms occasionally. It magically enhances your heart beat getting you ready for the coming activities.
Bottomline, the key lies in matching your warm up to the level of workout that you're going for. Either way, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to warm up everytime you're going to take part in a workout or other sports activity. Your body will thank you.
Share your personal warm up routine with us; it might help a bunch of other fitness enthusiasts looking for guide. For any queries, please feel free to drop a comment below.