4 Exercises You Need in Your Warmup
What is a Dynamic Warmup?
To minimize injury and promote a safe and effective workout, trainers and instructors recommend doing a dynamic warmup. Dynamic Warmup is also referred to as dynamic stretching and that is your first clue as to what it is. Many of us learned how to do static stretches like the gym teacher’s favorite, the sit and reach. Static stretches are positions you hold for more than 10 seconds. Dynamic stretches are under 10 seconds, giving your muscles enough of a stretch to activate muscles and make them more elastic. Your muscles need to have a bouncy-feel for them to take the force your putting on them during a workout. With a little bit of give, you are far less likely to injure yourself. Below, we will give you 4 exercises you should include in your warmup.
Walking Knee Hugs
This one is simple to understand but takes a good bit of balance to properly perform. Standing tall, you will want to bring one knee into your chest or abdomen. If you can’t quite get it all the way, there’s no reason to be alarmed. You will want to hug that knee for only a few seconds before gently letting it come back down to the starting position. Next, just take a step forward and repeat on the other leg. You will alternate each leg with every step for whatever you constitute as a lap. If you have trouble with balance, you can perform this exercise while laying on your back but it isn’t quite as effective as the walking version.
Activating your glutes and piriformis are essential for an injury-free and productive exercise. This is especially true if you are planning a bunch of squats and deadlifts. This is a simple exercise in that all you must do is step to the side and repeat. Once you’ve reached the end of the lap on that side, walk back in the same style with only the opposite leg leading. You can go into a shallow squat or utilize mini bands. Wrapping a mini band safely and securely around your ankles or just above your knees, perform the side step and feel those muscles working.
Now it’s time to open up those hips and lunges are some of the best at doing just that. With walking lunges, you will take a step forward with a slight bend in that front knee. Make sure you can see your toes over your knee to ensure a safe angle on that ankle. Keep your core tight throughout the duration of this warmup. You can even press your hands above your head to get an extra little stretch on the quad of the leg that’s behind you. If you can’t find space to perform this exercise then don’t worry. Just alternate each lunge while staying in place.
Straight Leg Kicks
This last exercise is exactly as it says. You will keep kicking forward, keeping your leg as straight as can be. Many recommend using your hand on the opposite side as a target by extending it out at should level. Your goal is to kick that hand without bending that knee or lowering the target. You should feel a bit of a stretch in the hamstrings or the backs of your legs. Alternate and repeat for a lap or two. If you want to cut out the walking, just keep your planted foot stationary and swing that leg. Make sure your hip isn’t opening up or dipping too much as it won’t focus on the intended muscles.
And that’s a quick little introduction into Dynamic Warmups. What do you think? Have you tried any of these or are they a mainstay in your routines? Let me know what you’re thinking and, as always, stay awesome.