The 5 Minute Warm Up Your Workout Needs
A warm up is something that should always be included in your workouts. Whether I’m training my clients online or in person, this is something that I always include into my sessions.
In a nutshell, warming up helps prepare the body for exercise. It helps get your cardiovascular system going, raises your body temperature and increases blood flow to the muscles.
I know it is tempting to skip your warm up but just 5 minutes of exercises and dynamic stretches can really help prepare your body for your workout. Without a warm up you run the risk of jumping straight into a workout and doing yourself a mischief.
In this blog I am sharing a quick and easy warm up you can do at the gym or at home, so you’ve no excuses to skip it next time you workout. I've even included a video so that you can check out each of the exercises and stretches and how to perform each correctly.
Here's a sneak peek!
First - we want to get the heart rate up with some quick and easy cardio moves to get the blood pumping.
Do each of these exercises one by one and use an interval timer or a stopwatch so that you can make sure you do each one for enough time. Aim for around 30 - 40 seconds for each and look to do 2 or 3 rounds in total. If you're a beginner aim for 30 seconds of each exercise for 2 rounds and build yourself up.
Jog on the Spot - lift the knees up and land softly, keep the chest proud and your breathing regular throughout.
Butt Kicks - kicking the heels up to your bum, again landing as softly as you can.
Lunges - Alternate your leg each time and if forward lunges feel too difficult, switch to a reverse lunge. If these feel wobbly try and create tension through your middle (imagine a piece of string through your belly button pulling it towards your back) this will help you balance.
Star Jumps - Also known as jumping jacks, land soft into the bounce through your knees, arms up overhead and again try and keep your breathing regular throughout.
Dynamic stretches are active movements that can be used to help warm the body up before exercising. They are often functional and mimic the types of movements you will do within the workout you're about to do. These stretches are designed for the joints and muscles to go through a full range of motion.
I would suggest taking around 30 seconds for each exercise and depending on the movement this might include you doing multiple repetitions within this time.
Fold Down - starting with the feet hip width apart, tuck your chin to your chest and roll the body down as far as you can go. Try not to force the stretch, just go as far as is comfortable. Then to come back up, tuck the chin to the chest and slowly roll the body up one vertebrae at a time making your head the last thing to come up.
Cat & Cow - Start in an all fours table top position, arch the back up towards the sky, tuck the chin to the chest and tuck your tail bone under and then relax down, drop the belly button down towards the mat and lift the head and neck up.
Kneeling Shoulder Stretch - Staying in your four point kneeling position, take your arm through and under your chest to the opposite side of the body bringing that shoulder down towards the mat. Come back into centre and switch sides.
Hip Flexor Stretch - Starting in a high plank position with your shoulders, elbows and wrists stacked on top of each other bring your foot up towards your hand. Go as far as you're able to, hold the stretch in the top position, bring the foot back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Simple as that!
You now have a 5 minute go-to warm up you can do at home or in the gym before every workout. If this starts to become too easy for you, add extra time or rounds onto your cardio exercises and extend your stretches in time to allow for a greater challenge as your fitness improves. Don't hesitate to mix up the exercises in each section to stop you from getting bored with the routine.
If you have any questions about this warm up routine and video or you would like some support with how to best prepare for your workouts whether at home or in the gym, please get in touch.
Looking to join the gym or try strength training for the first time? Read my blog post Benefits of Strength Training.