Everyone who exercises knows the importance of warming up. Some may see it as wasting time that you can use for the intense work out portion. That’s false and dangerous. A warm-up is set to get your body ready for the work ahead. It wakes up the muscles and provides you with more energy. Skipping this step increases the risks of getting injured during the workout.
A good warmup varies with the type of exercising that follows. For a long time, people have relied on static stretches to get them ready, but studies have found that those can be potentially dangerous at times. Static stretches require holding a muscle stretch for ten seconds or more. It lumbers up the body which doesn’t work in your favor during intense workout sessions that need tension in your muscles.
Dynamic stretching is an alternative to static stretching. It has been gaining popularity among athletes in recent years. It involves the full range of motion movements to enhance muscle performance. Here’s a list of the best dynamic stretches to incorporate in your workout session.
This stretch works on your hamstring and energizes your full range of motion. You can do this stretch while in a stationary position or while walking. Start with your feet on the ground and your arms straight. Lift up an arm. Kick the opposite leg upward while staying straight. Move both the hand and the leg simultaneously. You should aim to touch the palm of your hand. As you continue, try to kick higher, but never more than you can handle.
Hip Stretch with Twist
This stretch is aimed at the hips and groin area. It opens them up while stretching the core, upper and middle back. It starts in the push-up position. While keeping the rest of your body flat and in the same position, move one of your feet up next to your chest. Keep your feet flat on the ground while twisting your body. Keep the hand opposite to the foot on the ground and reach to the sky with your other hand. Come back in the starting position and repeat with the opposite feet.
Push up is a widely known exercise. It works out the shoulders and arms. It also allows you to gain a better grip at balancing your body weight. T-Push up is similar, but with a simple change. It works out the same area as normal pushups plus activates the entire body. Starting at the push-up position, lower yourself to the ground. As you push back up, stay in a plank position and twist your hips, so you’re able to reach upward with one of your hands. Go back into the plank position and do a push. Repeat with the opposite hand.
Lunge with Twist
This is the combination or the normal lunge moves with a twist of the upper body. For the lunge, step forward with one leg and bend at the knee with the other. You should try not to lunge too forward. Your bent knee should be at a reasonable and comfortable distance with your toes. When in position, slowly twist your upper body toward the side you’re lunging. This movement provides an intense hip flexor stretch. The lunge activates the legs, glutes, and hips. The twist works on the upper and middle back. It also activates core rotation.
Knee to Chest
This stretch is simple. It works on your legs and thigh areas. You can do it while walking or standing still.
The stretch is to bring your knee-high to your chest. You can hug your shin and step on your toes with the opposite leg to maintain balance. Alternate between the legs for about six reps each.
Hinge and Reach
Hinge and reach stretches both the shoulders and the hips. To do this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your hands at your side, palm facing each. Start by hinging forward. Your back should stay elongated while you bend your knees slightly. Press your glutes tightly back while reaching your arms forward, at the level of your shoulders. With a small thrust of your hip, return to a standing position as you swing your arms backward. Return to the start position and repeat it a couple of times.
This stretch is designed to increase mobility around the back and chest area. Start by getting on all fours on the ground. Place your fingertips behind your ears. With your elbow bent, rotate your torso, so your elbow is pointing toward the ceiling. Return to the start position with your torso parallel to the ground. Repeat on both sides a couple of times.
This stretch helps with the hips and hamstrings. It’s the perfect warm-up for hiking, running, or any everyday activities. It will help to get a long rod to help with your balance. Start with your feet about shoulder width apart. Shift your weight unto one leg, bend the other one slightly at the knee. Keeping the bend, kick the leg forward and backward. Your spine should remain straight. Continue kicking for a few seconds, then switch legs. You should try to focus on something while doing this stretch, so you don’t end up kicking mindlessly and lose form.
Jump squats are harder to do than normal squats. Due to its difficulty and the great speed required, this stretch is not suited for beginners. It’s a plyometric stretch which means it forces the muscles to exert maximum effort during a short interval to increase power. Start with the squat position, feet about shoulder width apart and your hand either behind your neck or on your hips. Squat down until your hips are parallel to the ground, then jump. Land softly and get in the starting position. Repeat it a couple of times, about ten reps.
Reverse Lunge with Reach
Like a normal lunge, reverse lunge targets the glutes, hips, and legs area. Starts by stepping back instead of forward. Then, reach upward with your hands. Bring your hands down and return to the starting position. Alternate sides for about six reps each.
Warming up gets your blood pumping, and your body energized for the work ahead. You shouldn’t use too much force and energy to do them. It’s preferable to do them slowly so your body can gradually gain the energy it needs to do more intense workouts.