With busy schedules it can be difficult to fit in a solid workout, so it's common to skip a warm up. This can be problematic as your muscles and joints are cold and tight making them more vulnerable to injury.
For optimal performance and the prevention of injury take a few extra minutes and prepare your body for your workout.
* Slowly increases your body temperature.
* Allows your muscles and joints to loosen and allow for optimal movement which will help with proper form.
* Can activate your muscles and central nervous system for ideal mind body connection helping you put forth your best effort!
* Can help prevent injury.
There are several methods that will safely prep your body for your workout.
- Cardio: Choose your favorite cardio equipment and complete 5-10 minutes at a moderate pace.
- Jumping rope: 5 consecutive minutes of jumping rope. If you can't complete 5 minutes straight, do what you can, or start with intervals to complete the 5 minutes.
- Yoga: Begin your warm up with a few sun salutations to increase your body temperature and gently increase mobility in your muscles and joints.
- Dynamic Warm Up: A combination of calisthenic movements and sport specific movements performed with control.
- Warm up set: When lifting use your first set of your strength exercise as a warm up set. Use light weight, high reps, and/or slow controlled movement to prime your muscles before increasing your weight.
I personally utilize dynamic warm ups most frequently in my clients as well as my own workouts. These warm ups can be customized to address any injuries (past or present), dysfunctional movement patterns, and muscles specific to the workout for the day.
Here is a sample warm up with some of may favorite dynamic moves.
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