Taking just 5-10 minutes to warm-up goes a long way in getting the body to move efficiently in your workout or sport and minimizes the risk of injury. Here's how to maximize your warm-up and get the most out of your workout or activity.
1. Start with some myofascial release - calves are a good region to start with if you’re not familiar with which region you should focus on. Myofascial release helps inhibit tight muscles and allows the body to get into more proper alignment. When your muscles are tight there's an increased risk of injury. Myofascial release also prepares the body to move more efficiently in the workout. Working with a trainer can help identify areas of the body that would benefit from myofascial release.
2. Stretch it out with a Down Dog - this gets the calves, hamstrings, shoulders, chest - it’s a good all around stretch! Incorporating flexibility into your warm-up gets the tissues and joints ready to move in their full range of motion.
3. Do some lunges with rotation - this helps open up the hips and gets your body rotating - a good functional movement
4. Activate muscles with some Inchworms.
5. Dynamic stretching with “Scoops”
6. Core activation with forearm plank and bridges. These activation type exercises gets the muscles ready to work!
You can view me doing this quick and efficient warm-up here.
And you’re ready for your workout!
Don’t forget to cool-down too! It’s just as important as the warm-up.
Benefits of taking time to Cool-down after you workout or train:
Helps to return your heart rate to a more normal state
Reduces DOMS (delayed onset of muscles soreness)
Improves your overall range of motion/flexibility and retain it
Ending with stretching can help you feel refreshed after your workout
Minimizes risk of injury
What about you? Do you include a warm-up and cool-down or tend to skip them?
As always this is just my own opinion based on my experience and knowledge at this time. There’s always more to learn and consider. Not all exercises work for everyone, so please listen to your body and do what is best for you.