Regardless of what age group you fall into, hitting the gym twice a week, and establishing a few healthy habits along the way, is key to leading an active lifestyle.
However, there are no shortcuts to obtaining good health and an admirable level of fitness. Just as you wouldn’t want to skip a meal, you also shouldn’t skip warming up before lifting weights or doing any kind of exercise. No matter if you are a teenager or past your prime, doing a few fun warm-up exercises will set the tone for your workout and prevent potential injuries from happening.
The goal of these warm-up techniques is to increase body temperature, increase your heart rate, lubricate your joints, and prime your muscles for the workout ahead.
Here are a few warming up ideas that will get you fired up and ready for an efficient training session.
Four Fun Warm-Up Exercises
- Walking Lunge
The walking lunge will warm up your hamstrings, glutes, and quads, but is also a great way to start up your core muscles and stretch your hips.
When you go down into a lunge position, you want to make sure to keep your spine at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Your front knee should be in line with your toes, while your other knee goes down but does not touch the ground.
You can involve your arms by holding small dumbells, but if that’s too much for you, keep them on your hips. If you’re limited in space, you can perform a static walking lunge exercise.
Number of reps: 10 reps each side.
Another great way to fire up your quads and hamstrings is doing good old squats.
A couple of things to remember while squatting are:
- keeping your feet flat against the floor as much as you can
- keeping your chest high
- focusing your weight on your legs instead of your back or knees
When you assume the squat position, you want your glutes to be in line with your knees. Going deeper is not necessarily a bad thing, but you want to get down the basics first and execute the squatting motion properly, so try and keep everything parallel.
Keep your hands in front of your chest. They will aid you in balancing your body.
Number of reps: 14
This exercise will activate some crucial muscle groups while giving you a nice stretch at the same time. Depending on your level of fitness, you can perform it faster or slower.
Start by placing your feet at hip width and slowly bend over. Use your hands to “walk out” to a plank position and hold there for a few seconds. This will engage your core, especially your abs. From the plank position slowly crawl back in the neutral position, and repeat.
Number of reps: 8
- Jumping Jacks
Finally, star jumps will skyrocket your heart rate and put you in fifth gear for your workout session. Star jumps are super popular both as group warm-up exercises and as an individual exercise.
To properly execute a jumping jack you want to start with your feet together and your arms at the sides. Keep your back straight and perform a jump with the legs spread wide and your arms touching overhead.
Number of reps: 10
Now you have a better idea on how to warm up properly and assure your body is primed and ready for a great workout. That being said, everyone has a unique body and a different fitness level. Some of these exercises might be too easy, too hard for you, or not recommended, meaning that you’re either overworking yourself before even starting your training session, or not warming up enough, exposing your body to potential injuries.
We suggest you listen to your body, adjust the reps accordingly, or find the appropriate modification for you. If you really want to find out what works best for you, our experienced personal trainers can design the perfect warm-up regimen for you to follow. Reach out to our team at Peak Physique & Performance today, to start training with a proper warm-up routine.