Warm ups are essential before starting any workout routine or doing any physical activity. A warm up is as the name suggests – it can heat your ligaments, tendons and muscles, reducing the chance of injury and easing muscle pain. When your body is doing intense physical activities, it rapidly increases its internal temperature. Failing to prepare your body to accommodate the rapid internal heat production can result in injuries.
You can also improve your workouts through warm-ups. Stretching and cardio activities can increase your body’s blood circulation. This can improve the circulation of oxygen to your muscles.
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Below are some optimised warm-up routines you can follow to avoid muscles pains and get more out of your work out:
Running in place with variations – Duration: 5 minutes per run
For this exercise, you need to be on solid ground with enough room to move around. Running in place is a good cardio activity which can increase your body temperature to an optimal level. This warm up exercise has four variations:
- Knee up - Start by lifting up your knee until the hip is parallel to the ground. At the same time, lift up the arm opposite to the leg you lifted. For example, if you raised your left leg, you should raise your right arm. Start doing this slowly while gaining speed with each change over.
- Knee hold – Start raising your knee forward and hold it close to your chest with both arms. Slightly lean your stepping leg forward while raising your body with your toes. Hold the knee for 2 to 4 seconds before lowering it.
- Knee high – Simply run in place while raising your knee as high as possible for each step. Start your run slowly and gradually pick up the pace. It helps if you follow a rhythmic beat for each step. Raise the arm opposite to the leg you lift.
- Heel raise – This is a similar routine as the “knee high” variation. To start, raise the heel of your foot towards the underside of your body. Pull up the opposite sided arm each time you raise your heel.
Dynamic should hold – Duration: 2 minutes
This exercise can stretch the muscles in your shoulders. To start, fold your arm over your chest in a horizontal position. Use your opposite arm to hold it in place. Slowly push the folded arm toward your chest while using the opposite hand to assist. Keep looking forward while stretching your arm. Hold your arm in place for a minute. Relax and repeat with the other arm.
If you want to get more out of the exercise, you can also work out your hips and lumber muscles. While stretching, twist your upper body to where the folded arm is pointing. As you twist the upper side of your body, your legs should be in a stationary position.
Floor spine rotation – Duration: 1 – 3 minutes
The goal of this warm-up is to prep your spine and lumbar area. To start, place yourself in a kneeling position with your body leaning towards the floor while your hands hold your body up. Place one of your arms to the side of your head. Slowly twist the upper part of your body to the side of the arm supporting your head. Twist your upper body again in the opposite direction.
When doing this exercise, your hips should be still as you twist your upper body. A good way to avoid movement is to open your legs apart when kneeling. When twisting your body, position your arms at the back side of your head. When you twist outward where the arm holding head rises, it should be in a position opposite of the supporting arm. When twisting your body inwards, the elbow holding your head should be touching the supporting arm.
Lunging squats – Reps 10 - 15
This exercise is used to sharpen your hamstrings and quadriceps. To start, stand up straight with your hands on your sides. Place one foot a step forward. Slowly bend the opposite leg. Your lunging thigh and supporting leg should be parallel to the floor. Make sure to avoid bending to the point where the lunging knee goes past its own toes. Slowly contract the supporting leg and bring your lunging knee back to the starting position. Move your supporting leg next and repeat the process 10 to 15 times.
Lunging squats can also be included in your main workout regime as resistance training. To do this, hold two lightweight barbells in both hands while doing the activity. You can use heavier barbells if you want to increase the intensity of the workout. However, be mindful of the strain of the weights on your joints as it could damage your kneecap. Always keep proper form by following the steps mentioned above and use dumbbells you can easily hold to avoid injuries.
By doing the warm-ups mentioned above, you can improve your training performance as well as reduce the risk of any muscular injuries elitevitaminzone.com.au Pre-workout supplements can also help in enhancing your training.