A proper warmup often take a back seat when it comes to a planning a workout session – especially when you’re a busy professional. It seems boring and unexciting comparing to lifting or sprinting and yes, you definitely can get away without incorporating it into your training, however you will pay the price sooner or later.
I never let any of my clients even ATTEMPT to start lifting heavy weights or getting on a treadmill without gently warming up their muscles and joints. The best way to do this is by performing dynamic stretches. What do I mean by dynamic? I means simple mobility exercises that will mimic the movement you eventually end up performing during you session. The simple moves which I am demonstrating below will increase your heart rate and temperature and put your body through the range of movement.
Start your session with gentle leg swings. Swing your legs forward and back 15 times each leg and then 15 times each leg to the sides. This will warm up your hamstrings and get your hips and lower back working. Don’t kick your leg out further than it feels comfortable , after few repetitions the range of motion should improve and you will be able to swing higher. Hold on to furniture for stability if you need to. Try to engage muscles on stabilising leg and use it as an opportunity to practice your balance too.
Before performing heavy squats, warm up your leg muscles by doing bodyweight squats and lunges. That will mimic the move without putting too much resistance. Make sure your chest is up, shoulder blades pulled together and your knees do not go over your toes.
Lunges should also be incorporated into your warm up prior to running. Performed correctly, they fire off large muscle groups in your legs. Aim for 15 lunges on each side and make sure that when getting out of your lunge, you are pushing up from your heel, not your toes. Maintain 90 degree angle in your knee and never allow your knee to go over your toes .
Another amazing warm up stretch before your running session is this hip flexor stretch. Hip flexors are the muscles that connect your upper body and your lower body. Get them working before performing any high impact exercise like jumps or running. Repetitive impact will cause these to contract and pull your upper body onto your lower body. That is going to cause lower back pain. Before your session perform these 15 x each leg and hold stretch down for 5 secs before returning to pushup position and changing leg. After your run, do the same but this time hold your stretch for 20 seconds and breathe deep into your stomach.