It’s completely natural to avoid warming up before a workout. Warm-ups are not necessarily interesting and it can feel like you are simply going through boring motions. If you are short on time, warming up seems unnecessary. After all, these movements only take away from your actual workout, right? Wrong, and we’ll explain why below.
Warming up before a workout can positively influence your overall performance. Whether you engage in a cardiovascular or strength training workout session, warming up can help reduce your risk of injury. A proper warm-up also readies your nervous system and muscles for optimal performance. Moving through the warm-up exercises in this article may help you prime your muscles and joints for the movements in your workout. Warming up actually informs the brain of what movement patterns it should expect. Read on to learn how to properly warm up before you workout.
Begin in a standing position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. In one motion, lean your body to the right side, bending the right knee slightly. Simultaneously, reach your left arm to the sky at a diagonal over your right side. Stretch your left leg long and immediately switch sides. Continue alternating from right to left for 30-60 seconds.
Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Interlace your fingers behind your head and keep your elbows out to the side. Lean to the left and lift your right leg up, bending at the knee. Bring it out to the side as if you were going to touch your ribcage with your knee. Lower your right foot to the ground and then immediately repeat on the other side. Continue alternating for 30-60 seconds.
Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Interlace your fingers behind your head and keep your elbows out to the side. Bend your left knee slightly as you lift your right leg up, circling it across your body. In that fluid motion, your right leg should go up toward your left, up toward your chest, and then back down. Repeat on the other side and continue alternating for 30-60 seconds.
Start in a standing position with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. In one fluid motion, pivot on your right foot and swing your right arm across your chest toward your left side. Make sure to gently twist your torso and upper body so that you face your left side. Immediately repeat with the other side and continue alternating for 30-60 seconds.
Squat With Reach
This is essentially a bodyweight squat with a bit more motion to wake up your major muscle groups. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, angling your toes out to the sides just a little. Bend your knees and sit back as you reach your fingertips down to touch the ground in a low squat. Engage your glutes and press up through your heels to return to a standing position. As you do so, lift your arms high above your head. Immediately return to a low squat and continue this fluid motion for 30-60 seconds.
Stand up straight with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms down by your sides. In one motion, raise your arms out to the sides and over your head as you jump your feet out so they are wider than shoulder-width apart. Without pausing, reverse the movement in a quick motion to return to the starting position. Continue without stopping for 30-60 seconds.
Plank Walk Out
Start in a standing position with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms down by your sides. Hinge at the hips and start to fold forward until your hands touch the ground in front of you. Start walking your hands out until you come into a full plank position, where your hands are on the ground directly beneath your shoulders. Pause for a second before walking your hands back toward your feet. Return to the starting position and then continue for 30-60 seconds.
Lateral Lunge With Reach
Stand up straight with your feet in a wide straddle, keeping your hands by your sides. Reach your right hand down toward your left foot as you bend your left knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Immediately repeat on the other side and continue alternating for 30-60 seconds.