The Best Warm-Up for Any Workout
Being a trainer and coach for over 20 years the biggest mistake I see most people to do when they workout is simply not warming up their muscles.
I’d lie if I said I haven’t been guilty of the same thing especially when we’re busy trying to whip through a routine. Schedules are busy, and this is typically the first thing to go but you’ll notice that the next day you are probably a little more sore than usual that is if you didn’t get injured with a pinch nerve or extra sore knees/shoulders.
But rather than heading straight for the weights or cardio, I want you to take at least 5 minutes to prepare your muscles. That’s all you should be aiming for – just 5 minutes and I guarantee you’ll see better results for it!
Why is warming up so important? To be honest, it’s a pretty simple answer.
When you apply a lot of pressure and tension to your muscles, it can potentially cause strain. The point of a warm-up period is to stimulate your muscles more gradually, by increasing circulation and applying minimal tension. By doing so, they’ll be more prepared to respond efficiently to more intense forms of exercise.
Not only does this prevent strain, soreness, and injury, it also leads to better results. This has been supported in a number of studies, and I can tell you first hand that a solid warm-up really goes a long way.
Today I’ve got the perfect warm-up that you can do before any workout. What’s even better, this one take sonly 5 minutes, meaning you’re out of excuses!
The Perfect Pre-Workout Warm-Up in 5 Minutes
Run through this warm-up routine before every workout, whether it’s cardio, weight-training, or any form of exercise. For a longer workout, simply perform 2 cycles.
1. Jumping Jacks
They’re an old one, but they’re still great. At a moderate pace, start out by doing a series of jumping jacks for a period of 30 seconds.
2. Lunge & Raise
Place your feet a foot apart at the front of a workout mat. Bend one knee and bring the opposite foot behind you, engaging in a traditional lunge position. Then lift your hands toward the ceiling, engaging your core muscles. Hold for 5 counts, then perform on the opposite side.
3. Cat/Cow Spinal Bend
Get on a mat on all fours, and straighten your back so that it’s parallel with the floor. Start by pulling your abdomen towards the floor as your lift your buttocks and head towards the ceiling (this is your cow pose). Hold here for 5 counts, then reverse the bend, pulling your back towards the ceiling. Hold for another 5 counts. This one’s great for loosening up your back and spine.
4. Knee Tucks on Bench
Find a workout bench and rest against it with your hands. Your legs should be extended backward as you balance on your toes. Engaging your core muscles, lift one leg off the floor as you pull your knee into your abdomen. Lower and repeat with opposite leg. Perform 10 tucks per side. To view this exercise, click here.
This one can get a little more intense, so for the purposes of a warm-up, use a very light weight or no weight at all. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and bring one hand down across your body to the opposite foot as you engage in a squat. Bring it back up across your body and overhead. Perform 5 reps per side. To view this exercise, click here.
6. Jump Rope
You’re going to finish up your warm-up with one minute of jump rope. No matter your workout goals, jump rope can have an amazing effect on your overall fitness. It also makes for an extremely effective warm-up – it really gets your entire body ready for action.
There you have it! These simple moves will prepare you to take on anything your workout has in store.
Looking for some other great ways to prepare better for any workout?
Check out these Best Pre Workout Supplements. There are some amazing (and safe) options out there for those looking to get more out of their fitness routine.
For those who really suffer in the energy department, also check out my list of best Pre-Workout Energy Foods.
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