REAL LIFE - REACH & RECOVER #5: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE WARM-UP
Last updated: 5.41pm, Thursday 29th October 2020
5 WARM-UP EXERCISES TO LAUNCH INTO YOUR WORKOUT...
"I have over a decade of experience living and training with multiple injuries.
For this blog I want to share my top 5 exercises to help launch you into your workout session..."
So many times have I rushed into my workout routine and not done the necessary warm-up beforehand and, as a result, after my session is complete, I have become sore and uncomfortable. Then I need to go back to my workout space and do a completely separate stretch out session. Double the workout!
Rather than having to double down on your workout, the warm-up session is vital to get your muscles ready to prevent injury, whether it is a team sport, cardio workout or strength training. So you need to ease your body into the movements to get into fitness mode.
The warm-up session should only take 5 or 10 minutes to get you into the zone. I like to use my warm-up session to get mentally prepared for the workout session.
We all have tough working days and, most recently, we are all coping with unprecedented times. Getting yourself mentally ready, leaving stresses at the door and focusing on the workout can be an amazing way to help on your physical and mental wellbeing for a fitness routine.
LET'S START WITH THE WARM-UP...
I like to start my warm-up exercises slowly, with an easier version of a broad range of movements before applying more challenging phases to these movements. I have multiple injuries and certain limitations on what my body can stretch to so I am always mindful of this.
However working with my physio Jenny at Hampden sports clinic, we have been able to tweak the technique I am applying to my session of the warm-up and workout session, so to ensure I am still warming up the specific areas, to keep getting stronger and becoming more flexible.
Yet you can apply more of a sport-specific warm-up, it all depends on what you are training for in your session.
My 5 warm-up session techniques help me prepare my muscles and mindset for most workouts.
Squats are a multifaceted exercise that targets many of the muscles in your lower body, including your quads, hamstrings, and those glutes.
Start with making the first few squats easier by going down halfway. Then you can slowly increase the difficulty so the last few repetitions are full squats.
Once you’ve warmed up, you can up the intensity by holding weights when you do your squats.
To do a squat:
• Stand with your feet hip-width apart and turn your toes to face forward or out to the side slightly.
• Engage your core, hold that core, keep your back straight, and slowly lower your hips until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
• Pause briefly with your knees over, but not beyond, your toes.
• Exhale and stand back up. Take your time and make sure each rep is completed.
• I do 1 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps. You can do more to suit your routine.
I really enjoy this exercise as it works your lower body and can help strengthen your legs, glutes, and hips. You can make the first few lunges easier by only going halfway down, and then progress to the full lunge.
After you’ve warmed up, you can increase the difficulty by doing a set using weight to weight that suits your goals.
To do a side lunge:
• Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
• Press into your right foot as you step your left foot over to the left.
• From here, squat down while bending your left leg and keeping your right leg straight.
• Pause briefly with your left knee over, but not beyond, your toes. Lift your hips and return your left foot to the starting position. If you have pain or discomfort, resume to your starting position and only bend your leg to a position where you feel comfortable with. Perform a lunge to the right side. This is 1 rep.
• I do to 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps. You can do more to suit your own routine.
I love planks and these are an excellent warm-up for building core and back strength, as well as improving balance and posture. If you have more confidence with planks - you can challenge yourself with various styles such as the forearm plank and side plank. Find a position that is comfortable for you to meet your fitness goals.
[Angela getting ready to do her side plank]
• Get into a pushup position. As a beginner with the plank, you can start by doing a plank on your knees. If you’re more advanced. I started training with planks using a fitness ball and worked up to now using my forearms.
• If you are building up with the plank you can go-between, you can try doing a high plank with your arms fully extended.
• Hold your core and keep your palms and toes planted firmly on the ground and with your back straight and your core muscles tight. Don’t let your head or back sag downwards. Take you time with plank
• I hold my plank for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can hold for longer to suit your fitness goals.
DANCING TRICEPS WARM-UPS
This exercise involves several movements that can help loosen and warm up your triceps. Is great with music and dance it out warming up your triceps.
To do a triceps warmup:
• Extend your arms out to the sides so they’re alignREREAL ed to the floor, keeping your palms facing down.
• Keep your arms straight and rotate them in backward circles.
• Rotate arms 20 to 30 seconds, your arms in forward circles.
• Rotate arms 20 to 30 seconds, turn your palms to face forward and pulse your arms back and forth.
• Repeat this movement with your palms facing backwards, up, and down.
• I do 1 to 3 sets of these movements. You can hold for longer to suit your fitness goals.
Pushups work your upper body, core, and those glutes. To make it easier and suit your fitness level, to start with, you can do pushups on your knees and you can increase the difficulty by pausing in the lower position for a few seconds.
[Angela's Improvised Method of a Push Up]
• Position yourself in a high plank position, at the top of a pushup, with your palms flat on the floor and hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your shoulders positioned over your hands. Your back should be flat and your feet should be together behind you. Keep your core pulled in.
• Slowly lower your body down toward the floor. Hold your core in or don’t let your back sag.
• Once your chest or chin almost touches the ground, press up and straighten your arms. Keep your elbows slightly bent to avoid injury.
• I do 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. You can hold for longer to suit your fitness goals.
The warm-up to our physiotherapy or fitness routine will support your flexibility and performance and is hugely beneficial for helping to prevent injury or aggravating previous injuries.
There are days I take my warm-up session to a slower pace of the movements.
Apply a warm-up to a level you feel, on the day, is as important as completing your session for the day. For me, it's not a workout, unless I have applied a warm-up and warm-down to my session.
If you are struggling for a new warm-up session or overall fitness, check out https://www.hampdensportsclinic.com/our-services/Health-Fitness/ for a new fresh start to your exercise and physiotherapy program.
Need some one-one or physio mentoring support? Go to #triumphoverinjury or check out: https://triumphoverinjury.com/home
Can’t wait to see you all in the next blog.
Love Angela x
REAL LIFE - REACH & RECOVER #5: IT’S ALL ABOUT T
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