Warming up isn’t optional. The pre-workout ritual is essential for maximum performance and injury prevention. Dynamic exercises increase your core temperature, kick-start brain-to-muscle communication, lubricate your joints and get you in the zone for working out.
But data shows only 20% of us follow a comprehensive stretching routine, and 24% fail to limber up at all. Don’t be a member of that guilty party! Do this whole-body warm-up routine before every workout. Here are some of the best warm-up exercises before a workout.
Hip Circles: Wakes up your hips and lower back
Stand with your feet apart and your hands on your hips. Keeping your legs straight and core engaged, move your hips in a clockwise circle for 10 rotations. Stop and move for 10 rotations in the opposite direction.
Prisoner Rotations: Improves spinal mobility in your thoracic region
Stand with your back straight and hands behind your head with your elbows out to the side. Rotate your arms to the left, keeping your elbows wide and your core engaged. Rotate back to the centre and then to the right. Return to the centre and bend to the left side, pointing your elbow to the floor. Return to the centre and bend to the right side.
Arm Circles: Switches on your arms and lubricates your shoulder joints
Stand with your feet together and your back straight. Stretch your arms out so your body forms a T shape. Move your arms in small circles forwards for 10 rotations. Then repeat in a backward direction for 10 more rotations.
X Squat: Wakes up your knees and activates your glutes
Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart and reach your arms up into a Y shape. Bend your knees to lower into a squat and simultaneously lower both arms across your body towards the floor (right hand to left knee, left hand to right knee). Push through your heels to rise and reach your arms back into the air. Repeat 10 times.
High Knees: Cranks up your heart rate and loosens your ankles
Start in a standing position and push off from your right foot to bring your right knee to waist height, driving it upwards with your left arm. Return your leg to the ground and repeat on the other side with an exaggerated knee lift. Continue alternating until you’ve moved 10 meters. Turn around to travel 10 meters back to the start.
Leg Swings: Increases the range of motion in your hip joint
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands by your sides. Swing your right leg forwards and backward as high as you can, keeping your left leg straight. Do 10 reps then swing the same leg across the front of your body, left to right. Do another 10 reps. Repeat the whole sequence on your left side.