We have all been there before, trying to squeeze in a workout on a lunch break or when short on time. In these cases, most of us typically jump right into the workout. A dynamic warm-up will help prepare the body for the upcoming training session. Full body, dynamic type movements are ideal prior to training for many reasons. Movements like lunges and walking quad stretches, activate muscles as they “turn on” the body, preparing it for the upcoming stress of exercise.
There is an accompanied increase in heart rate, and respiration. This sends more blood to those working areas. In turn, the core temperature of the muscle is increased and the body begins to sweat lightly. Muscles and connective tissue becomes more pliable. When the body reaches this state, it is prepared to work harder compared to someone who walked in “cold” to a workout.
Here are a few easy-to-do warm-up exercises you can add prior to any workout. The great thing about these is you’ll work on things like balance and mobility as a simple by-product when you do it.
1. Walking Hip Hike
Start in a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart. Pull you right thigh up towards your chest by interlocking both hands under the knee. Do not bend over, stand tall throughout. Keep the core engaged, with the head and chest up. As the foot returns to the ground, switch to the left leg and repeat. Slowly walk as you perform this warm-up. You can do it for 10-15 yards or for a desired time.
2. Walking Quadricep Stretch
Again, start in a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend the right knee as though you were trying to kick your buttock. Take hold of the right ankle with the right hand. Stand tall, do not bend over. Head and chest stay elevated throughout. Gently pull back the foot until you feel a stretch in the front of the quadricep. As the foot returns to the ground switch to the left foot and repeat the same sequence. Slowly walk as you perform this warm-up drill. You can do it for 10-15 yards or for a desired time. As you improve, you can raise one heel off the ground after you stretch the thigh. This can be done for the first two warm-up drills to work the ankle joint.
3. Jumping Jacks Series
We have all done them in our younger days. Jumping jacks are a perfect addition to a low impact warm-up. They activate the legs, shoulders and arms. Once you’re done, try moving the feet forward and back like a (fast) split squat. Instead of the arms coming up over head though, bring them across your body as though you were trying to hug yourself.
4. Reverse/Forward Lunge
Stand tall with the feet shoulder-width apart and hand on the hips. Step back with the right foot as you bend the knee moving the knee towards the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side, that is considered one repetition. Try 5-8 repetitions. Once done, perform forward walking lunges for 5 yards.
5. Inch Worm
Considered by many as one of the best dynamic warm-ups you can do. Begin in a push-up position. Keep the hands where they are. Slowly move the feet towards the hands by taking small, baby steps, keeping the legs straight. Once you’re as close as you can get to the hands, walk the hands out until you’re back into a push-up position. Repeat for 10 yards or for a designated time period. This movement is also a great station in any circuit program. As you get better at executing this – you can add a full push-up in for each repetition.
Perform these warm-up exercises in order if you like and you’ll see just how good a (quick) dynamic warm-up can actually be. Remember, it’s not a workout it’s a warm-up, don’t overdo it. Try adding three minutes of jumping rope to this routine.
Stay Strong Together
Try Jefit app, named one of the best apps for 2023 by Lifewire, GLAMOUR, and many others. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. The app also has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefits exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals.