Warm up Exercises

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Warm up Exercises are necessary regardless of the workout you prefer. Warmup exercises will gradually increase the heart rate and the blood circulation.Before starting your routine exercises you need to warm up your body and muscles to prevent from sprain or injury.Tight muscles and joints are not flexible and more prone to strain. So five to six minutes of routine warmup exercise will make your body flexible and physically active for your routine workout.

HIP CIRCLES:

This exercise will mobilize your lower abdominal muscles. Try to make sure that only your pelvis is rocking rather than torso.

  1. Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent, feet hip-width apart, hands resting on your hips.
  2. Tighten your abdominal muscle by gently pulling your naval towards your spine. This movement should feel light and subtle-do not suck in your waist or hold your breath.
  3. Gently rotate your pelvis to the right so that you are rotating in a full circle.
  4. Repeat nine times to the right and then circle ten times to the left.

WAIST TWIST:

It is importance not to move your hips and knees during this exercise, but do feel free to move your arms like a hula dancer if it helps you get into the right mood!

  1. Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent (soft, rather than ‘locked’). Keep your feet hip-width apart and your hands resting on your hips.
  2. Tighten your abdominal muscles by pulling your navel back towards your spine.
  3. Keeping your hips and knees still, rotate your shoulders and head to the right, and then return to the center.
  4. Now twist to the left, rotating your head and shoulders and keeping your hips and knees still.
  5. Repeat this exercise a further five times on each side.

FORWARD BEND:

With this exercise, bend only as far as is comfortable you don’t have to touch your toes. Remember, you’ll be able to stretch farther as time goes by and you become suppler with exercise.

  1. Stand up straight with your hip-width apart and your knees slightly bend rather than locked. Place your hands, palms downwards, on the front of your thighs.
  2. Tighten your abdominal muscles by gently pulling in your navel towards your backbone.
  3. Slowly slide your hands down your legs towards your toes. Try not to over arch your back.
  4. Position yourself so you feel a stretch in the hamstrings at the back of your legs but don’t stretch so far that it hurts.
  5. Hold for a count of three then return to the center. (see step 1)
  6. Repeat four times. Keep your breathing steady throughout.

SIDE BENDS:

Do not do this exercise quickly with your arms above your head as this will make it hard to control the movement.

  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your arms by your sides.
  2. Tighten your abdominal muscles by gently pulling your navel towards your spine.
  3. Keeping your back straight and without leaning forwards, slowly bend to one side from the waist so that your hand slides down the side of your leg. Straighten up again.
  4. Repeat on the other side. Repeat four more times on each side.

KNEE BENDS:

This exercise loosens the hip flex or muscles and helps warm up all the leg muscles. Don’t lock your knees as you do this, and bend only as far as is comfortable.

  1. Stand with one leg resting on a support such as a high-backed chair or a table, your feet hip-width apart and slightly turned out. Tighten your abdominal muscles.
  2. Slowly bend your knees and lower your hips, then straighten up again. Use your buttock and leg muscles to lower and straighten.
  3. Repeat nine times.

LEG SWINGS:

This exercise warm up the hip joints. Don’t swing your legs too high (about 45 degrees is high enough), and keep the movements controlled and flawing.

  1. Stand with one hand resting on a support, such as a high-backed chair or a table, and balance on one leg with the knee slightly bent. Tighten your abdominal muscles to protect your back.
  2. Gently swing your leg forwards and backwards. Keep your hips still as your leg moves from back to front. Swing upto 20 times on one leg, then swap sides and swing on the other leg.
  3. Never point your toes inwards while exercising which can damage your knees.

STANDING QUAD STRETCH:

  1. Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Tighten your stomach muscles to protect your back.
  2. Bend one leg up behind you and hold your foot or ankle with your hand.
  3. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then release and repeat on the other side.
  4. Repeat twice more on each leg.

MARCHING:

This warming-up exercise will help to raise your body temperature and increase blood flow to the muscles. March on the spot for at least a minute, swinging your arms and gradually raising your knees higher as you go (but not so that you’re goose-stepping). Make sure your breathing is deep and regular as you march. Once you feel warm, take the time to perform a few stretching exercises.

STANDING HAMSTRING STRETCH:

  1. Stand up straight with your knees hip-width apart and your knees soft (slightly bent)
  2. Extend one foot forwards so that it is pointing in front of you with the weight resting on its heel. Tighten your abdominal muscles to protect your back.
  3. Rest your hands on the thigh of the bent leg to support your body weight.
  4. Bent forwards from the hip and feel the stretch in the back of the thigh of the straight leg.
  5. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, then release and repeat on the other side.
  6. Repeat twice more on each leg.