Before starting any workout, you should spend at least five minutes doing warm-up exercises. This is very essential as warming up will prepare the muscles and joints for intense activity and prevent any injury. When you do warm-up exercises, you improve the circulation and the temperature of the body, making the muscles and joints flexible.
Warm-up exercises are light stretches, which are designed to loosen up the muscles and tissues. Doing so prevents any cramps and ligament tears because of rigorous workout. Warm-up exercises also improve performance as it prevents you both mentally and physically.
These exercises do not put any extra pressure on the body. While doing these exercises, you should hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, while inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth before easing out of the stretch. Given below are a few such warm-up exercises that you should do before any workout.
Exercises For Warm Up
Calf Correct Foot Position
Stand with your foot shoulder-width apart keeping the heel flat on the floor and with one foot kept forward. Bend your front leg so that you can see the tip of your toes when you look over your knee. Now, slowly lean forward, keeping a straight line with your heel, hip, and head.
Plant your foot flat on the floor, pointing forwards and at least half a foot apart. Keep your back straight and place your hands on your hip. Now exhale and lower yourself, putting your body weight on the foot.
Stand and place your feet shoulder-width apart and extend a foot half a step forward. Now, keeping the front leg straight, bend the rear leg, and keep both your hands on the bent thigh. Exhale slowly while tilting both the buttocks upward while keeping the front leg straight and both feet flat on the floor pointing forward. Then inhale slowly and relax the stretch. Now, repeat the stretch, but this time keep the toes of the front foot raised and the heel on the floor.
Stand straight and hold onto a secure object or raise one hand on the side for balance. Raise one heel towards your buttocks and grasp it with one hand. Inhale slowly while pulling your heel towards the buttock and pushing the pelvis forward. Keep both the knees together while slightly bending the supporting leg.
Stand straight keeping both the feet facing forward and double shoulder-width apart. Keep your hands on your hips and back straight and then slowly exhale while shifting your body weight to one side by bending one leg. Do not lean forward or take the knee of the bent leg over your toes. Gradually increase the stretch so that the foot of the bent leg slightly points outwards.
While lying on your back, extend the left arm to the side and take the left leg over to the right so that you bring the knee in line with the hips. While keeping the right leg straight, push the knee of the left leg with your right arm all the while exhaling slowly.
On the floor, lie on your back and slowly pull both legs onto your chest and wrap your arms around the knees. Exhale while slowly pulling on your legs so that you lift your buttocks off the floor. You can stretch your neck too in this position by tilting your chin towards your chest.
Stand under a bar keeping the feet shoulder-width apart and facing forward with the legs slightly bent. Now, hold on to the bar with the elbows high and slowly twist around in both directions. Do not force the stretch or twist at speed.
Lower Back Cat Stretch
Get down on the floor on all fours, keeping the fingers forward and the toes behind. Now, keeping the back flat, move the head down while pushing the shoulder blade upward and outward, so that you elevate the upper back.
Stand keeping the back straight and look forward. Place both the hands on the lower back with the elbows on the side. Exhale slowly while trying to move the elbows back aiming to make them touch.
Cross one arm over your chest and hold it in place above the elbow joint with your other hand. Keep the hip and shoulder facing forward and pull your arm towards your chest so that you stretch the shoulder.
Put your hands straight above your head with the palms touching. Keeping your back straight, inhale, and slowly push your hands upwards and then backward. Exhale and then relax from the stretch.
Chin to Chest
Place both the palms on your nape with the fingers interlocked and the elbows pointing straight ahead. While pulling the head downwards, exhale slowly and try to bring your chin very near to your chest. Make sure that you keep the back straight and the shoulders down and back. Now, relax your hands and inhale as you slowly lift your head.
These warm-up exercises will help you gain better control over your posture and body balance while working out.