Make this your go-to warm-up when short on time!
When I first started out as a personal trainer, warming-up meant a couple lackluster static stretches and some light warm-up sets of whatever lifting exercise you were doing that day. If you were doing “cardio”, a brief walk would do.
Fast-forward 15-years, a well thought out warm-up with a goal is much more relevant. Still, warming-up can get in the way of our game plan to get going. Our time is stretched further and further with the ever-growing demands of life.
Some may not admit that they are primarily working out to look better. So naturally, people will choose to go right to what burns calories or whatever makes them feel the “burn”.
I get it: I want to do the exact same thing. Nothing feels better than a quick workout that wasn’t full of foam rolling, stretching and mobility work. Just give me some heavy weights and I am all good, forget my warm-up!
Over the years, I have come to enjoy and appreciate my warm-up program. If I skip it my body will let me know. Rigorous exercise demands a lot from our body. Basic metabolic functions and anatomical stresses are placed upon it. In order to handle these things, there needs to be a build up for the body to adapt.
There are 3 key elements that need to be addressed before you get after a tough workout:
- Increase core body temperature
- Activate the nervous system
- Improve the fundamental human movements
So, skipping your warm-up can decrease your chance to improve your goal of looking better and feeling better.
Time can get in the way of what I really want and need to do in my warm-up program, so I have come up with a quick warm-up that covers all the proper basis.
Instead of skipping your warm-up, take 5-minutes to do this all-in-one, big bang for the buck, dynamic stretching routine. By performing a proper dynamic warm-up, you will accomplish the following things:
- Stretch your muscles
- Lubricate your joints
- Stimulate your nervous system
- Improve recovery
- Increase mobility
This will ultimately improve the efficiency of your movement to help burn fat and build muscle. Best of all, it will help reduce the risk of any overuse injuries.
Perform each movement one after another on each side first before moving onto the other side. Perform 5-10 reps of each exercise on each side depending on your individual needs.
Heel to Butt
Standing tall with neutral posture, pull your heel back towards your glutes by grabbing onto your ankle or foot. Make sure to keep good posture and your legs close together. Hold for 3 seconds.
Standing with tall neutral posture, hug your knee towards your stomach and chest with both hands. Hold for 3 seconds.
Take a big step forward and lunge down to the ground until both of your hands reach to the ground inside of your front foot. The front leg will be bent and 90 degrees or lower and the other leg will be straight behind you. Hold for 3 seconds.
While in the instep lunge position, keep one hand on the ground as you rotate your upper body to one side. Raise your arm and look at your hand as you rotate your upper body. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat in the opposite direction.
Lunge to Hamstring
While in the instep lunge position, place both hands on the ground. Raise your hips up in the air while raising your front toes off the ground and pushing your back heel to the ground. You should feel a deep stretch in the hamstrings. Hold for 3 seconds at the top of the hip raise.
Jumping Rope or Jumping Jacks
Any style of jumping rope or jumping jacks for 2-minutes.