7 Warm-up Exercises For A Great Workout

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Whatever is your workout routine, warm-up exercises can make a huge difference. Reduced injuries & improved exercise motions are warm-up exercises benefits to look forward to. Here're 7 Warm-up Exercises For A Great Workout!

Dynamic Warm-up 
A dynamic warm-up is a popular warm-up approach that involves all the joints moving one at a time, then all together. This helps take the body through progressive movements that loosen and stretch your muscles. Classic dynamic moves include –
  • Walking lunges 
  • Toe touches 
  • High knees 
  • Arm circles 
  • Lateral squat 
 Always remember that your muscles and joints are like rubber bands. They’ll snap when cold, but when warmed up they’ll be responsive, flexible, and resilient.
warm-up exercises

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7 Warm-up Exercises For A Great Workout
Did you know that jumping around is one of the easiest warm-up exercises? 5 minutes of jumping rope at a mild or brisk tempo should be good enough to set the pace for your workout session. It’ll put your body temperature and heart rate up and will set the body in fat burning zone. 
 

For an effective workout session, it is essential that you get the right start. Follow these 7 warm-up exercises for a great workout. 
 
1. Kneeling extension-rotation

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How to do it:

  • Kneel on all fours. Make sure your arms are straight, the back is flat, and palms flat on the floor. 
  • Place your right hand on the back of your head. Lock it there. 
  • Keeping your right hand locked, slowly rotate your shoulder until your right elbow points inwards. 
  • Then reverse the move and raise your right elbow towards the ceiling. Simultaneously turn your head and upper back as far to the right. 
This is 1 rep. Do 8 reps and then repeat with left. This warm up exercise targets your shoulders and upper back.
 
2. Squats 
 


Image Source: New Health Advisor


How to do it:
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips with your toes pointing outwards. 
  • Look straight and choose a point on the wall. You’ll have to look at the same point throughout. Don’t look up or down on the floor. 
  • Put your arms in front, parallel to the ground. 
  • Keep your back neutral, body weight on the heel and balls of your feet, and your entire body should be tight. 
  • Breathe in, break at your hip and push your butt down. 
  • Keep sending your hips backward as your knees start to bend. Make sure you keep your knees in line with your feet. 
  • Squat down till your hip joint is lower than your knees. 
  • Breathe out and slowly come back to original position. 
Squats will strengthen your entire body, bones, and muscles. They also increase flexibility. Start with basic squats and slowly you can move to ones with holding bars. You can also try front squats with the bar. 

 

3. Lunges 
 


Image source: womensfitness.net


How to do it:

  • Keep your upper body straight with your shoulders back and chin up. 
  • Step forward with one leg, lower your hips until both knees are bent at about 90 degrees. 
  • Make sure your front knee is directly above the ankle and not pushed out too far. The other knee should not touch the ground. 
  • Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to starting position. 
When done regularly lunges will lead to shapely, toned legs. The best part is that you can do lunges anywhere comfortably. 
You can also do reverse lunges, step back instead of stepping forward. Do a bicep curl with dumbbells while you lunge to strengthen your upper body. You can also do a walking forward lunge to increase and challenge your balance.
 
4. Yoga Plex
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How to do it: 

  • Stand with your feet apart at shoulder width. Make sure you’re facing a bench about 12 to 18’ high. 
  • Bend your hips and place your hands on the bench. 
  • Step back with your right foot as much as you can. Go low until your right knee is a couple of inches off the floor. 
  • Extend your right arm in front of your body and then following it with your eyes, move it in a clockwise circle. Go all the way up your head, behind your back, and back to the bench. 
  • Step forward and return to original position. 
This is 1 rep. Do 5 reps and repeat with your left arm and leg. Yoga plex targets your hip flexors and middle back.

5. Hips Raise With Reach


Image Source: Men's Health Singapore

How to do it:
  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Keep your feet flat on the floor at shoulder width. 
  • Place your arms 45 degrees out on the sides, with palms up. This is the starting position. 
  • Raise your hips up to form a straight line from your shoulders to knees. 
  • Now slowly lift your right arm and shoulder from the floor and reach the ceiling. Then reach across your torso and tap the floor behind your left shoulder. 
  • Return to starting position. 
This is 1 rep. Do 8 reps and then repeat with your left arm. The hip raise reach targets your glutes, middle back, and hamstrings.
 
6. Kneeling Inner Thigh Mobilization


Image Source: The Fit Indian


How to do it: 

  • Kneel on all fours so that your back is flat, arms are straight, and palms are flat on the floor. 
  • Straighten your right leg and move to the side so that it is perpendicular to your torso. 
  • Keep your right foot on the floor and your toes pointing straight ahead. This is the starting position. 
  • Keep your back flat and push your hips back as far as possible. 
  • Now push your hips forward, past the starting position. 
  • Return to the middle. 
This is 1 rep. Do 8 and then repeat thigh mobilization exercises with your left leg.
 
7. Hip Extension Stretch
 

Image Source: bodybuilding.com
 
How to do it:
  • Stand straight and hinge forward at your hips. 
  • Raise your right foot and bend your right knee in front while swinging your left arm forward as you would while running. 
  • From there, maintain the same lean as you quickly your right leg behind you. 
  • At the same time, swing your right arm forward and your left arm back. 
  • Return your knee in front and repeat with the other leg.

Benefits of warm up exercises 
A thorough warm up helps increase the blood flow to the working muscles leading to decreased muscle stiffness, reduced risk of injury, and improved performance. Some of the other benefits of proper warm up are listed below. 
  1. Increased muscle temperature: The temperature of the muscles that are used for warm-up exercises is increased considerably. A warmed up muscle contracts and relaxes more quickly. This helps to enhance both speed and strength. Also, the chances of injury and overstretching a muscle are reduced. 
  2. Improved range of motion: Proper warm-up ensures that your joints extend safely along the joint’s full range of motion. This, in turn, helps ensure that your limbs are flexible enough to perform even difficult and strenuous workouts. 
  3. Increased body temperature: The right warm up helps increase body temperature. This helps improve muscle elasticity, reducing the risk of pulls and strains. 
  4. Hormonal changes: Your body increased the production of various hormones responsible for energy regulation. When you do warm-up exercises, this balance of hormones ensures that there are more carbohydrates and fatty acids available for energy production.  
  5. Increased blood temperature: The temperature of blood increases as it travels through the muscles. With the rise of blood temperature, the binding of oxygen to hemoglobin is weakened. This ensures that more oxygen is available to work muscles, which improves endurance. 
  6. Mental preparation: It is a great way to prepare yourself for the main event. An effective warm up session will increase focus and help you concentrate better on the main workout session. It also goes a long way in improving your skill, technique, and coordination during your physical training. 
  7. Prevents injury: The primary goal of warm is to prevent injury. With the right warm-up exercises, you allow your muscles to undergo a greater range of motion. This decreases the chances of soreness, muscle stiffness, strains, overtired muscles, or tendinitis.

Doing these warm-up exercises will help you achieve a fulfilling work-out session. There is no right or wrong in warm-up exercises. It varies from individual to individual. You should choose warm-up exercises that suit your body. For maximum benefit consult your trainer and do warm-up exercises as suggested by him. Make sure you end the work out with a cool down. 

What are cool downs? 
Cool downs are a natural end to any exercise session. It can be yoga or light meditation. Cool downs help you get back to normal pace and also give you body time to recover. Unlike warm-ups, cool downs aren’t absolutely essential, but they do help.

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