Are you doing anything special to warm up before your workouts? “Back in the day”, a warm up used to consist of doing what’s called static stretches where you’d hold a stretch for several minutes. For example, touching your toes to stretch your hamstrings or anything else where you’re holding a stretch for a long period of time. If that’s what you’ve been doing then you’ve been doing it all wrong!
Well, maybe not completely, but studies suggest now that you do those types of stretches after a workout – not before because they elongate the muscles. The kind of warm-ups you should be doing before a workout are called dynamic stretches. This is where you’re jogging lightly, walking with knees high or doing anything that requires gradual movement.
Here’s a quick warm-up routine to help get you started. Once you try these, you can start switching them up and making them more of your own:
— To work the calves, do at least 15 to 20 feet of toe walking
— Focus on the front of the legs by doing 15 to 20 feet of heel walking
— Work out hamstrings and hip flexors by doing this routine – walking, lifting knees high and rotating the knees outward at the top of the knee motion
— To work out hamstrings, glutes and quads run at least 10 feet with knees coming to chest
— Work quads by running at least 20 feet doing butt kickers
Spend at least 5 to 10 minutes with your warm-up and you’ll begin to see a stark improvement in your stamina, flexibility and overall performance.