You’d be surprised at how many people nowadays are opting for a home gym set up. It can range from just a spin bike or a treadmill to a full-fledged haven for Phil Heath and the likes. Among them are also people who let the dust gather on their equipments. The hardcore fitness nuts among these would already be familiar with the workouts and all their tips and techniques while the dust gatherers will let the dust settle, not bothering with those equipments at all.
But for the people who knows to take things in moderation and yearns to follow the occasional fitness routine, things can be bit difficult. They’d neither be gulping down protein shakes and pumping steroids in them, nor lay on the couch munching cheetos all day. They’d often find the time among their busy schedules to hit the treadmill every once in a while or benchpress some 100 lbs or so.
If you’re not someone who’s balancing work and workout, this article might not be for you. But if you’re someone like that, you need to know what to do before that occasional workout. Because in all honesty, you won’t benefit from a set of 30 reps squat with 200 pounds on your shoulders, nor would you find cheetos that appealing. What you need to know is some cardio warm-up techniques to get the adrenaline pumping in your body before you start working out.
Why You Should Consider Cardio Warm-ups
Cardio is simply short for cardiovascular training. With the name itself you can understand what are the key focuses of these exercises. Every day, an individual should do cardio for at least half an hour. Cardio is done to strengthen heart function and lungs, so that more blood reaches the muscles. The increased supply of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles induces more removal of wastes and toxins from the muscles. Cardio helps to reduce stress, improve body shape, lose weight, decrease anxiety and enhance overall endurance and stamina. Cardio exercises come in various forms. They can be full-on workouts through treadmill exercises or they can be simple warm ups before hitting on the big machines.
But when cardio is used as a warm up method, it can prep you for heavier workouts with better results. Warm ups are incredibly important and yet simple to do. It gears your body to get ready for a gradual buildup in workout intensity, so that your body does not go through unexpected pain. You can start off by using a recumbent bike exercise, then try cardio warm ups through some cool treadmill exercises.
Cardio Warm Up Exercises with Recumbent Bikes
Recumbent bike is not like the typical upright bike. It has a reclining position, so the cardio warmup that you’ll do will be low impact and also beneficial, especially for those with lower back pain. This is just one of the many recumbent exercise bike benefits. There are other benefits, such as healthy heart rate, posture correction, weight loss, etc. Here are some tips on how to handle a great recumbent bike for a good cardio workout:
- Place your back against the back support and feet on the pedals. Your hands can be anywhere! They can be on the side handles or the front handles, or you can keep them free. Read a book, listen to music or watch TV, choice is yours.
- An important issue is adjusting the seat position. Adjust the seat according to your comfort. If it’s too far, you won’t be able to pedal properly. If it’s too close to the front handles, you’ll have difficulty in cycling.
- Best way to reap an intense cardio from a recumbent bike is to try interval training. Basically you have to do an intense workout with short periods of less intense exercises interspersed in between. In the case of a recumbent bike exercise, all you have to do is vary the intensity of the pedaling. If you are a beginner, you can try by going intense for 30 seconds and recovering for 1 minute. As you practise, you can increase difficulty level by doing intense pedaling for 1 minute and allowing recovery for 1 minute.
- Some recumbent bikes have built-in interval training programs that will automatically slow down or increase pedal speed. If the one you are using does not have this option, try the workout manually. First do a quick five minute prep workout by using everything you got for 30 seconds and then recover for 30 seconds. Continue this approach for the next 20 minutes.
Tips For Warm Up Cardio Exercises on a Treadmill
Treadmill is probably the most popular equipment for cardio, and why wouldn’t it be? Cardio is much easier and can be done in various ways on a treadmill. If you’re looking to buy one for your home, here’s a good buying guide on Stuffoholics. Here are a few tips to know how to get a killer body with a good treadmill for home.
- Wear appropriate clothing if you can. Sweatbands and wristbands help catch sweat. Using a treadmill is much easier when you wear a fitting T-shirt and shorts.
- You need to stay hydrated, so make sure you have a water bottle filled with cold water and a towel to wipe out sweat. Listen to music if you want.
- Don’t hop onto a treadmill and just start running! First, walk for three minutes and increase intensity in the last minute. Then jog for around three minutes.
- Now go for interval training. In this case, run 20 seconds fast and subsequently recover for 40 seconds. You should repeat this three times. Each time you finish, allow your body to cool down.
- Improve cadence, which is the number of foot strikes you have per minute. Target should be 90 strikes in one minute.
- You can change the incline percentage of your treadmill. Usually it is set by default to 1% but you can challenge yourself by shifting towards 2% incline.
You can also try the following freehand cardio warm-ups for extra benefits:
- Toe touching stretches
- Overhead stretches
- Torso twisting full circle
- Lateral toe touch steps
- Jumping jacks
- High knee touches
It’s important to know that some fitness experts are opposed to flexibility exercises like stretches before a workout. It can sometimes lead to muscle cramps or such. However, since there are some ongoing debates about the authenticity of the claims, we decided we’re going to include them anyway. If you’re one of the people who’d rather not go with it, feel free to refrain from doing the stretches mentioned above.
Cardio workouts are amazing for weight loss, improved metabolism and stamina build-up, so try to do cardio daily. Try to eat something healthy both before and after workout. The food you eat depends on how long you do your exercise. Drink lots of water. The key is to remain well-hydrated.You can try sports energy drinks. You don’t just have to do cardio. You can opt for dance one day, aerobics the next day or yoga some other day. Most important thing is to use your entire body while doing cardio. After finishing cardio be sure to check your heart rate and calories burnt. Lastly, breathe as much as you can. Breathing improves endurance. Stay motivated and you can easily reach your fitness goal!