Warm Up For a Better Workout

The warm up is one of the most important parts of your workout.  Many injuries occur when the muscles haven’t properly increased in temperature before starting intense exercise.

Here are some sample warm up drills to prepare your body for the work ahead:

  • Doing your cardio of choice (walk, run, bike, swim, etc.) at a lower intensity
  • Walking Lunges (see “Trail Fun” Post)
  • Lateral Squats (also see “Trail Fun” Post)

  • Leg Swings – Forward/Back: As you swing your leg forward and back, don’t let your upper body move.  Keep body strong and stabilized.  Abs stay in, chest is lifted, shoulders are back and down, and it feel comfortable for you.

  • Leg Swings – Side/Side:  Same as above, but you swing out to side and cross in front of body (or behind).  Don’t let upper body move side to side – keep spine neutral.
  • Alternate Knee Ups:  Walk forward and grab shin.  This is a pretty slow move to emphasize flexibility with movement.  Keep abs in, chest lifted.

  • Alternate Standing Hip Stretch:  Walk forward and grab ankle.  This is also a slow move to emphasize that dynamic flexibility.  Keep abs in, chest lifted.  If your butt is too tight and you can’t grab ankle, you can perform exercise by putting foot up on a lower surface and hold it like a static stretch.

You can do any of these exercises in any order.  If you started with the slower ones, then move to your lower intensity cardio, it would take you anywhere from 7-15 minutes.  Your body will be better prepared for the work ahead – meaning you’ll get a better work out in!

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