Do warm-up before your workouts?
I tend to be a creature of habit with my warm-up, but I switched things up a couple of months ago after taking a week to do just yoga. I realized I needed more mobility/yoga type movements in my warm-up and these full-body moves are the best combination!
The benefits of doing a warm-up are numerous:
- warms body temperature and muscle temperature
- increases blood flow
- helps improve range of motion
- studies show that warming up and stretching help improve physical performance and help reduce the risk of injury
There are two different types of warm-ups and this one falls into the dynamic category.
Characterized by static stretching, which includes stretching a specific body part for roughly 30 seconds, then moving to another body part.
I tend to refrain from this type of warm-up. I recommend static stretching be saved till the end of the workout or be done after a short dynamic warm-up.
Characterized by performing moves in your warm-up, similar to the movements you will be completing in your workout. The warm-up below is a dynamic warm-up, consisting of squats, walkouts, skaters, range of motion exercises and more (like these 4 moves). Moves are done for either a RX time or RX rep range.
LENGTH OF WARM-UP
Depending on the workout and how long it’s been since my last workout, my warm-ups tend to last anywhere from 5 – 10 minutes. This is usually enough time to get the blood flowing and muscles ready for the work ahead.
Complete 4 – 8 reps of each move, for 1 – 2 sets in your warm-up. I like to move through all 4 exercises below, aiming for 4 reps of the first 2, then 8 reps of bird-dog on each side and 8 reps of each T-L-Y.
Pick 1 or all 4 to add to your warm-up
- DOWNDOG-PLANK-PUSH-UP FLOW: Assume down dog position – pressing through hands, fingers gripping mat, ribs down, butt up and heels drawing to the ground. As if your body is a wave, press through balls of feet and engage the core to roll yourself into plank position. Lower down into a push-up. Press through the chest into Upward Dog, then back into down dog.
- CAT-COW FLOW: Come on to your hands and knees – wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Shoulders should be back and down, chin tucked, pelvis tucked and back flat, core braced. On an inhale, arch back and lift the chest. With the exhale, press through the mat to hunch and round back up. After ~4 reps, return to neutral. Imagine there is a circle around your belly. Move torso around the outside of the circle – arcing and hunching back as you move around.
- BIRD-DOG: Come on to your hands and knees – wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Shoulders should be back and down, chin tucked, pelvis tucked and back flat, core braced. Lift left leg up and out, while the right arm moves up and own. There should be a straight line from your fingertips to your toes. Return to start and repeat.
- T-L-Y: Lie on belly, with toes curled. Roll shoulders back and down, so shoulder blades are on your back. Keep chin tucked. With shoulder blades on your back, move your arms out into a T shape. Squeeze shoulder blades together, like you have a coin or card in between your shoulder blades, moving arms up and down. For the L, start in the same way, but instead of the T position, bend at the elbows to form two L’s. From the shoulder blades, press up and pull down. For the Y, start in the same way, but move arms into a Y position. Pull down from the shoulder blades and bring elbows into body.
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