Warming up is essential before working out. You may feel like this is something you can skip out on, especially if you are in a hurry. However, you put yourself at more risk of injury to your muscles if you don’t take the time to warm them up.
The team here at Cool Springs Family Chiropractic suggests that you incorporate these 5 ways to warm up into your routine before you do your next workout session.
It’s always good to start by stretching out all of your muscles. Despite what you may have seen other people do, don’t bounce while stretching. Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Bouncing can lead to tears in the muscle.
A few stretches you can do include:
- Touching toes
- Overhead triceps stretch
- Horizontal arm-stretching
- Sit in a butterfly position
Make sure you stretch every part of your body that you plan to workout. For most cardio-related activities, this will be all of your muscles. However, if you are focusing on just weight lifting certain areas of your body, make sure those are stretched ahead of time.
Lunges can be used to develop lower body strength, but also for stretching out leg muscles before your workout. To do a forward lunge properly, you will put your hands on your hips and then step out straight in front of you.
Shift your weight to the front foot so that your heel hits the floor before the ball of your foot. Then, lower the opposite knee to the floor while keeping your weight on the foot that is extended in front of you.
Squatting is another great warm-up exercise. Get into a squat position and hold it for 30 seconds. This is a great dynamic warm-up if you are going to be squatting with weights. Dynamic warm-ups mimic the exercises you will be doing.
To do this properly, stand with your feet apart and tighten up your glutes. This is the main group of muscles that you’ll be using in this stretch. Then, you will squat down as low as you can comfortably go and hold the position. Do this a few times to really get your muscles ready.
This is a perfect stretch to improve your posture as well as your balance. A plank is basically holding a push-up position for as long as you can. Beginners may only be able to hold the position for a couple of seconds before giving out.
To get into the planking position, put both of your hands on the ground like you would if you were going to do push-ups. Then, get on your toes and keep your feet together. Make sure you don’t allow your back to slump. Keep your core tight the entire time you’re in this position.
5. Leg Lifts While Jogging in Place
It’s good to get your heart pumping and allow the blood to circulate through your body right before starting a cardio workout. If you end with this type of warm-up, it makes it very easy to move into your exercise routine. Start out by jogging in place for a minute or you can run back and forth.
While you are still jogging in place, lift your knee up towards your chest. Do this several times on each leg before returning to a slow jog. Aim to do 3 sets of leg lifts to get your body ready for running or other types of workouts.
How long Should You Warm-up?
So, now that you understand how to warm-up before exercise, it’s important to know how long you should spend warming up. Surprisingly enough, the warm-up part of your routine doesn’t need to be any longer than 10 minutes. Even if you are only going to work out for a total of 20 minutes, spend 5-10 minutes getting your muscles ready.
Start by focusing on your larger muscle groups and do some of the same movements you will do during your exercise routine. For example, if you are running, do the running leg lifts.
Use These Same Exercises to Cool Down
It’s also important you take a few minutes to cool down after cardio workouts. You need to give your heart the ability to slowly reduce its beating instead of coming to a dead stop. It’ll also help your breathing return to normal.
You can do the same types of exercises you used to get ready for the workout in your cool-down period. To begin with, slow down your movements and then do lunges, stretching, squatting, or whatever position you want to hold.
Schedule an Adjustment For Greater Mobility
Doing these routines before working out can loosen up your muscles and make it easier to move. Not only that, it can increase your overall mobility which is important as you age. You’ll be able to do more exercises and build muscle as you increase your range of motion.
Another way to increase your mobility is to have a chiropractic adjustment. Dr. Hinz is the chiropractor here at Cool Springs Family Chiropractic and he can help relieve pain as well as boost your mobility. Contact us today so we can schedule you for an adjustment. Our team is ready to work with you.