You've dreaded working out all day long. You've finally carved out time in your day to do it, and used all the motivation in the world to get there. You lace up your sneaks, head out the door and foresee yourself sprinting five miles just like that. But just as you begin running, you realize how creaky all your limbs are, and so you spend your first mile trying to push through it.
Or maybe you've found your favorite workout video, and the instructor gets right to it. You start doing push-ups, mountain climbers and burpees, but your form is off and you find yourself just trying to get through it. Your second time around seems to be better, and so you let go of all the bad form and frequent breaks you took the first go around. But are you wasting your precious work out time this way?
“Regardless of your type of workout, a full-body warm-up gets your entire body primed and ready for action,” says Lauren Williams, a head coach at Tone House in New York City. So that first mile of your run or that first round of your workout video could have really
But where do you begin? Williams has provided us with the five best warm-up movements to get us prepared to take our workouts by storm.
1. Leg Swing: for your hip flexors and extensors
Stand with left side of body and both feet parallel to a wall and press left hand against the wall for balance. Raise right leg in front of you to hip height, then let it swing backward behind you. Repeat, swinging leg forward and back, gradually increasing the range of motion. Do 15 to 20 reps, then switch sides.
2. Inchworm: for your entire body, especially your core, shoulders and hamstrings
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend forward from your hips and reach palms down to touch the floor (bend knees if needed). Walk hands out into a high plank position and hold for 5 seconds, then walk your feet toward your hands, trying to keep your legs as straight as possible. Stand to return to starting position to complete 1 rep. Do 8 to 10 reps.
3. Hip Stretch With Rotation: for your hips, thoracic spine (upper back) and chest
Start in a high plank position, then step right foot outside of the right hand so you are in a deep lunge. Keeping the left palm flat on the floor, reach right hand to the ceiling, twisting your torso to the right. Hold for a few seconds, then place right palm on floor and step right foot back to starting position. Repeat on opposite side to complete 1 rep. Do 8 to 10 reps.
4. Plank to Downward Dog: for your shoulders and core
Start in a high plank position, then shift hips upward into downward dog. Hold, keeping hips lifted toward the ceiling and heels trying to touch the floor, then lower to return to plank. Hold the plank for a few seconds each rep or add a push-up. Do 8 to 10 reps.
5. Butt Kicker: for your lower body, especially your quads
Jog lightly in place, kicking your feet up behind you. Gradually increase range of motion until your heels are tapping your butt. Continue for 1 minute.
Do you take time to warm up before you get your workout on?
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