Would you like to get the most of your workouts?
When people start visiting the gym, they often expect to see fast results. This can cause them to attempt more than they can handle and sometimes suffer from injuries.
Jumping straight into a workout without warming up can leave you feeling stiff and unmotivated. When you warm-up, you’re giving your body a chance to get the blood flowing and your heart pumping, making a workout easier. For reviews on fitness equipment for working out (and kitchen equipment for cooking healthy food!), check out BestReviews.co.uk.
Read on to learn about some warm-up exercises and what they can do for you.
Cardio is an effective way to warm-up because it causes your body heat to rise and increases your heart rate. Doing strictly cardio can make for a good workout in itself, but it can also be used as a pre-workout warm-up.
There are several things that you can do for cardio:
Walking is optimal for those that would like to get a quick warm-up in without having to do much work. If you visit a gym, walking on a treadmill at a brisk pace for several minutes is enough to get you sweating and loose.
Riding a bike or using a stationary bike will get your legs moving and can build up a lot of strength in them. One benefit of using a bike is that it’s a fairly light exercise.
Most stationary bikes have several settings that you can use to increase/reduce resistance, simulate riding uphill, and track distance.
The elliptical is an easier alternative to a treadmill. An elliptical requires you to plant your feet on two platforms that rotate to simulate walking. The machine is easier on your joints because it doesn’t require you to lift your legs.
One of the more intensive exercises, running will quickly increase your heart rate as your body tries to keep up with the activity.
When warming up, you should not sprint. You will get gassed and potentially want to stop working out. Instead, do a light jog for 5-10 minutes. With running, you’ll warm-up your entire body.
Pre-workout stretches are essential for any workout, whether it be running, weightlifting, gymnastics, etc. They help loosen your body up and can reduce your risk of injury. Check out this post to learn what a few studies concluded about stretching.
Aside from warming up, dynamic stretches allow you to become more flexible. People often stretch every day so they can gain the ability to do the splits and other flexible feats.
Stretches are designed to make you stretch parts of your body that usually don’t get stretched. Your legs, back, arms, and even neck can all be stretched to prepare for the upcoming workout.
Here are some examples of stretches:
- Butterfly stretch
To do the butterfly stretch, you must sit on the floor with your back straight. Put the bottom of your feet together and bring them closer to your body. This stretches out your hips, thighs, and glutes.
- Standing quad stretch
The standing quad stretch is a simple stretch that can be done by standing straight and pulling your foot towards your bottom. You will feel a lot of tension in your quads release because this muscle usually isn’t stretched.
- Standing hamstring stretch
This stretch targets the back of your legs, specifically the hamstrings. To do this, you must stand and bend down while keeping your legs straight. If you bend your legs, you won’t stretch your hamstrings.
- Sphinx pose
Doing the sphinx pose will let you stretch your lower back, shoulders, and chest. Lie on your stomach with your legs straight, feet pointing the opposite direction, and support your upper body with your elbows.
Keep your hands flat and press your hips into the floor. You should feel your spine getting stretched out, and your legs will also get exercise from this stretch.
The lunge is a classic exercise that’s used to stretch out hip flexors, quads, and your back. It’s very simple, as you only need to take a large step forward while keeping your back straight.
When you take a step, you should drop your back knee towards the ground to get your front leg closer to a 90-degree angle. Keep your hands on your hips while you do this to maintain a proper posture.
One of the common lifting mistakes many people make when weightlifting is diving straight into heavy weights the moment they get to the gym. You can avoid injuries and getting gassed early by lifting light at the beginning.
Lifting light weights will get the blood pumping into your muscles, getting them ready to take on heavier weight. It will also let you get used to the motions of weightlifting when you first get to the gym.
Doing a dynamic warm-up with stretches is also optimal for weightlifting because it lets your arms flow naturally when lifting. If you’re stiff, you may find it harder to lift because your joints feel as though they’re resisting.
You can use light weights in your warm-up exercises to give yourself an extra bit of force. For example, holding 5-pound weights when doing jumping jacks will put more resistance on your arms and make your body warm-up quicker.
Do Warm-Up Exercises Before Your Next Workout
Warm-up exercises are necessary if you’d like to avoid potential injury and make your workouts more efficient. Light running, warm-up stretches, and incorporating light weights will get your body used to activity before your main workout.
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