No matter what kind of workout you’re going to be doing, it’s vital to do the right warm ups before you get started. Working out can strain your muscles and joints and they need to be prepared for what’s thrown at them; warm ups allow you to ensure that’s the case. If you don’t, you’ll put yourself at greater risk of injury, which is not what you want.
It’s even more important to warm up properly before working out during winter because injuries are more common at this time of year. That’s because of the lower temperatures, so it doesn’t make sense to take any risks. If you’re not sure which warm ups to do and why they’re important, we’re going to talk you through some of the most effective warm ups that’ll prepare you for your workout.
One of the best ways to warm up the muscles in your lower body is to do some squats. But if you’re going to do them, you need to make sure you go about it in the right way. Doing it wrong will lead to potential injuries. So, if you want to do it right, you should first position your hands on the back of your head or straight out in front of you; whichever is most comfortable for you. Your back should also be straight when you perform the squats, and from there, squat down and back up using your abdominal muscles.
If you’re going any kind of exercise that involves using your arms, it’s important to do arm circles to warm them up. So, if you’re going to be doing skiing, rowing or even cycling, you should make use of these exercises. You could even do them if you’re thinking of doing some running because you use your arms when running too. You simply put your hands up in the air and bend while moving your arms towards the ground and you can do this repeatedly.
Static stretches are the foundations of everything else you do in your warm up. It’s just a case of standing still and stretching your arms, legs and back. It’s especially important to stretch your hamstrings, quads and the Achilles tendon while performing these static stretches. You can spend around 10 minutes doing these static stretches; they offer the best place to start.
Upper Body Twists
Upper body twists are very easy to perform; you simply stand straight with your legs apart and then move your upper body to the side as far as you can while keeping your arms and shoulders as straight as possible. You can then twist back to the front and perform the motion again, this time twisting your body the other way as far as you can. When you’ve done that, you’ll have completed one round and you can perform one or two more rounds if you want to.
If you’re looking to finish off an intensive warm up routine, it can be a good idea to use a jumping rope. It allows you to exercise many different parts of your body and although it’s not a vital part of a warm up routine, it can be a method that really helps for people looking for something more vigorous and intensive. Just make sure you don’t use this warm up technique before you complete your stretches.
Again, jumping jacks should be performed as a warm up after you’ve completed your warm ups. Jumping jacks also raise your heart rate and warm up your arms and legs nicely. It’ll get plenty of blood to your muscles, which will make them less likely to be injured when you’re working out, making them a great activity to incorporate into your overall warm up routine before each workout.
Walking Ahead of a Run
For anyone who’s planning on focusing on running as their main type of workout, it’s a good idea to do some walking before you start the running. This allows you to prepare your body and get the blood pumping to the muscles in your legs, which is exactly what you need ahead of your run. And you can easily transition from walking to running once you’re ready to.
The importance of warming up can’t be underestimated, so make sure you carry out these warm ups this winter if you want to make sure that you don’t sustain any unnecessary injuries during your workout. Many people do and it only becomes more important during the winter months.