Effective workout routines always include a warm-up session. Those few extra minutes you take to stretch your muscles and increase your body temperature before you start your workout really go a long way to preventing injury and increasing blood flow to the muscles.
A typical warm-up exercise will include light cardio and stretches to open up the joints and prepare you for your exercise. Warm-ups are a good way to bring a team together and mentally prepare you for the challenge ahead.
Additionally, sticking to a warm-up routine pre-exercise can improve your flexibility and prevent muscle soreness post-exercise. Most importantly, getting a good warm-up in could prevent you from bed rest and having to take a break from exercise altogether.
Warm-Up Exercises for Beginners
If you’ve been skipping your warm-up exercises, now’s your chance to make it right by trying out some of these easy exercises that will get your heart rate up and get you going for the next hour or so.
1. Jumping Jacks
Let’s start with jumping jacks. One of the best cardio exercises to increase your heart rate, jumping jacks will activate your metabolism and help your muscles relax as you get ready to exercise.
- Standing with your feet hip-width distance apart, keep your hands by your sides and get ready to jump.
- As you jump, your arms will be extended outwards and your legs will be more than hip-width distance apart as you land softly on your feet.
- Without pausing, repeat the exercise as fast as you can for 60 seconds.
2. Arm Rotations
Arm rotations are a good warm-up exercise before enduring in a strength-training workout.
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width distance apart and lift your arms to form a T with your body.
- Slowly rotate your arms clockwise for 20 reps, then counter-clockwise for 20 reps.
3. Mountain Climbers
- Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked above your wrists and your body in a straight line.
- Keeping your core tight, slowly bring your right knee to the right elbow and lower down to the starting position.
- Without pausing, bring the left knee to the left elbow and lower down.
- Continue mountain climbers for 30 seconds and make sure to alternate the legs.
4. High Knees
Increase your heart rate and stretch your hip extensors with high knees. High knees can help you build strength and work towards promoting stronger runs.
- Stand up tall with your feet hip-width distance apart or in a comfortable position to perform the exercise.
- With a slight jump, bend your right knee and lift them as high as you can. Lower your right foot and immediately lift your left knee.
- This warm-up exercise should be done as fast as you can, but make sure that you lift your knees above your hips.
- Perform high knees for at least 30 seconds.
Swimmers exercise is not only beneficial as a warm-up exercise but it also strengthens the back muscles.
- Start by lying down on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Your arms will be extended in front of you.
- Starting with the right side, raise your right hand and your left leg simultaneously off the ground followed by the left hand and right leg.
- Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds.
Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water as you exercise. Consult your doctor if you feel any type of unusual pain during exercise. As always, listen to your body and only push yourself as much as feels comfortable.
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