If you workout at Habitat Health and Fitness in Lakeland, FL, you already know that we create a program that include stretches to do before a workout. The warm up stretches don’t require a lot of effort, but they get the blood circulating to the muscles to prepare for the extra effort required during the workout, get your heart ready for the workout and increase the temperature of the body to make the muscles looser. The stretches use the same muscles you’ll be working during your actual workout.
Just move your body but make those movements gentle.
Riding a stationary bike is one way to warm up. It as simple as hopping on the bike and pedaling a few minutes. Start slow and build from there. If you’re working your upper body, get those muscles loose with arm circles. To arm circles, stand with your feet at shoulder-width, stretch your arms out parallel to the floor at shoulder height. Now, make small circles with your arms and start extending those circles into larger circles, then reverse the direction of your arms and repeat.
Start the warm up with walking.
You can pace for a short time, then move into a lunge, eventually moving to a lunge twist. Shake your hands as you pace. It’s all about getting the blood circulating, without overdoing. As you pace, step out with the right leg and lunge forward. Make sure you keep your knee is directly above the ankle on the right leg as its final position.
The best stretches mimic the movements you’ll use during the workout.
If you’re going to take a brisk walk, run or doing lower body exercises, try a leg pendulum. Stand on one foot, lifting the other leg and swinging it back and forth like a pendulum. Other lower body stretches include quad stretches. It starts with a few seconds of jogging, then stopping, lifting one leg behind you, grabbing that foot and pulling it toward you to stretch for a few seconds. It’s important to take it easy and slowly stretch it to you. Jog again for a second or two and do the other side.
- Twisting your body from side to side sounds simple enough, but it’s an important warm up stretch for the core muscles. Feet are apart with arms stretched out, parallel to the floor, then you twist your body from side to side.
- Dynamic stretches include jumping jacks. You can start out slowly and just lift the arms up and back down, then add the jump, widening your legs as you lift your arms. As you warm up, increase your speed.
- A butt kick uses the heel of your foot to kick your bottom. It loosens legs but will do the most for your core and quads. Lift one leg as you bend it at the knee and lift it behind you to use your heel to kick your bottom. Do quickly and alternate legs.
- A modified form of the lunge is the lateral lung. Instead of stepping forward, like the traditional lung, you step to the side as wide as you can and remain stable as you bend that knee and lunging to that side as you do. Push back up and lunge to the other side. One set is a lunge on each side.
For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health and Fitness