How to Warm Up Before Exercise : 11 Warm Up Exercises & Tips
Which are the best Warm Up Exercises?
How to Warm Up Before Exercise?
These are some questions you might come across when you hear about warm-up exercises. A balanced lifestyle may save you the cost of living your life on medicines. Proper Exercise, Balanced Diet, Proper Rest and Stress Management are the four main pillars of healthy living. However, a proper exercise needs a well-planned warm-up which can involve most of our muscles. Warming up of the body before the main workout has many benefits one of which is to avoid injury during the workout. So, in this article, we have listed some interesting warm-up exercises which will recruit most of your muscles before your main workout.
What is Warm-up?
A warm-up is simply the act of preparing the body for physical exertion or a performance by exercising before the physical exertion. The warm-up can also explain the period of preparation or performance or exercise session which involves gentle exercise or practice. This means warm-up must not be done in a hard way. Just be gentle and calm and the warm-up will be lit (1).
Why is Warm-up important?
Warm up is important because transiting from a normal body activity into an intense work out needs a transition period. This period of transition is the warm-up exercise session. Some modes of exercise that are important include the half jack, the jumping jack, the hoops, spot jogging, stretching and other activities (2).
Another importance of warm-up is that it helps to take out tension from bad places (like the bone, joints, ligaments) and put them in hot spots like the hips, the hamstrings etc. The reason behind the taking out of tension from bad places to hot places because these spots burn a lot of calories due to the amount of muscle contained in this part of the body.
Warming-up and Stretching
Warming up and stretching helps to increase the core body temperature and to get your body fluid or juice flowing. In a layman language, the warm-up exercise is just to oil the joints.
Warming and Stretching also help mentally to prepare the mind and body for the intense workout. The warming and stretching need to be treated like a meditation, and it is to work on the mind and muscle in preparation for the exercise. It is always difficult to have a good work out session when the mind is thinking about something different. The warm-up and stretching period is the great time you need to visualize your goal.
11 Warm-up Exercise for the Workout
1. Half Jack
The Half jack is the warm-up exercise for your rescue. You really need to do this
The Half jack is done like another warm-up exercise called the jumping jack, but the benefit of this is that, even if you have rotator cuff injury and you feel jumping jack is not good for your situation, you can do this. Jumping Jacks comes under the aerobic form of exercise if done speedily.
The half jack is similar to the jumping and the way they are done is similar. The only difference between the half jack and the jumping jack is that you don’t raise your hand completely overhead during the process. The reason why the arms are not lifted completely overhead is to prevent the stress of rotator cuffs.
How to do Half Jack?
- Start this exercise by assuming a standing position, bend your knees a little bit and jump. While jumping ensures your legs are extended to the side but don’t allow your arms move overhead.
- Land with your feet apart and your arm not lifted too much. Jump again and repeat this simultaneously.
- Do these half jacks for about 10 times and don’t jump too high.
- The summary of how to do the half jacks is to jump with your feet wide and raise your hands till your shoulder is on the same level with the elbow bent. Always return back to the starting Position after you jump.
Watch this video from DareBee to learn the correct form.
2. Hip Rotations
Some people will call this exercise hip circle. To start with, extend your feet wide apart and put your hands on your hips.
Try to push out your hips, rotate the hips to the side, front, back and finally to the center which was the starting point. If you are able to rotate the hips front back and sideways, then you have completed one rotation. While doing the hip rotation warm-up exercise, ensure that your hips are moving and not just your waist or upper body. After one rotation, take a full breath.
How to do Hip Rotations?
- Start the hip rotation slowly and build up the speed as you continue.
- You can just imagine you are inside a Hula Hoop.
- Do this exercise 5-1o times on each side.
The benefit of the hip rotation is to loosen up the hips and pelvic muscles. This exercise is very important because the hip and pelvic muscles hardly get exercise if you are living a sedentary lifestyle.
Watch this video from ehowhealth to clearly understand how to do it.
3. Side to Side Hoop
This is another classy move in the warm-up exercise session. It involves holding the hoop at waist level.
How to do Side to Side Hoop?
- All you need to do is to start with your feet slightly wider than the shoulder width.
- Push the hip off your hip using your hands so it starts rotating.
- Immediately the hoop starts spinning, sway your hips from side to side.
- It’s also advisable to close your eyes when you are engaging in this exercise to have the feeling of the move.
- You can do this for about 2 minutes.
Read More: Exercises to Reduce Arm Fat
4. Single Leg Hoop
How to do Single Leg Hoop?
- Just like the way you started the side to side hoop, the single leg hoop is similar.
- Stagger your feet and hold the hoop at the leg level for the leg you want to exercise.
- Push the hoop as you did earlier and spin.
- Repeat the process for the second leg too.
5. Hoops on the Spot
How to do Hoops on the Spot?
- This is a bit more complex compared to the side to side hoop and the single leg hoop.
- The only thing you need to add is to ensure the hoop is done on the spot.
- Hold the hoop at waist level and push off your hip or leg.
- Bush forward and backward while maintaining the same position.
- Do this for few minutes, rest for few seconds and repeat the process.
Watch this video from DareBee to do it correctly.
Read More: At Home Abs Exercises
6. Spot Jogging
This is a simple but very effective warm-up exercise that helps before the workout. It is a very easy exercise routine and to get the best out of this exercise, you must do it intensely. Spot Jogging can be followed by main Running exercise.
How to do Spot Jogging?
- Start by warming up with a light jog on the same position; lift your feet only an inch or two inches above ground level.
- Then hop from one foot to another. Move your harms while you are jogging. The more the arms and the body are in action, the more calories you burn. Engaging your arms while hopping will help burn more calories.
- Its time you increase the tempo by lifting your knees higher, ensure your thighs are parallel to the ground while you lift your knees. This position is when you are doing the perfect spot jogging.
- You can then increase the speed to make it more intense. You can always alternate the intense period with the recovery period.
- Reduce the intensity of the jogging when you are about to end the spot jogging warm-up exercise.
Watch this video Carol Stream Park District
7. Stretching up and down
This is important to stretch up and down before the session. This part will help increase blood flow to the body. It increases the range of motion of the muscles.
How to do Stretching up and down?
- To stretch up and down, start from your head, move your head up and down in a slow manner.
- Don’t stress yourself by overstretching the joints. After the head, the neck is another point.
- This is because we hardly exercise our neck. Incline your head forward up and down.
- Avoid stretching your neck sideways without returning to the center at first.
- A very good explanation of how to stretch up and down is to stand with your body and spine straight.
- Tilt your head downwards and raise the head upwards. Repeat this procedure about 115 times before you take a grasp.
- Another way to stretch up and down is to stand right and bend the body gently towards the back and return gently to the front, this stretching needs to be done with care.
- Repeat this procedure for a while and you are good.
- You can also do this by standing straight. You then raise your elbow up and place your hands in the middle of your back.
Read More: At Home Kegel Exercises for Women & Men
8. Stretching Sideways
These help increase flexibility and reduce the risk of you sustaining injuries that are caused as a result of lesions of connective tissues.
How to do Stretching Sideways?
- To start with, stand up and extend your arms out to each side. If you are in that position, then swing your arms in and out (ensure you keep your arms straight throughout the exercise session to achieve the desired result).
- This stretching sideways will help you stretch your shoulders and chest muscles alternatively.
- Also to stretch sideways, you will stand up and grab your elbow in front of your chest with your left hand and pull your elbows towards your chest for few seconds and repeat the same procedure for the other side.
- You can also sit on the floor with your legs wide apart. Then stretch your hands towards your leg. Doing this will help the abs and the arms.
- I need to add this too; if you have injuries, you can avoid the stretching sideways.
- Another stretching that can be done either sideways or up and down are the abs stretching, and arms stretching.
9. Jumping Jacks
Jumping Jacks are excellent for your entire body and you can also include it in your main Gym Workout Plan.
How to do Jumping Jacks
- To do the Jumping jack, assume a standing position, after doing that, bend your knees a little.
- Now jump, but ensure your legs are extended to the side and arm simultaneously moving overhead.
- When you land on the floor, ensure your feet nearly shoulder apart in terms of the width, while you land, ensure your arm is still overhead.
- Jump again so you will return to the position you started with your feet closed and your arms by your side.
- To achieve this, do this for about 10 times. To get the best out of this, you can jump higher to make it harder and you also increase the speed slowly.
- As you can see the Jumping jack came late on the list, this is because this warm-up needs to be done late and it also gets your heart pumping.
You can see this video from fitness blender to do it correctly.
10. Upper Body Twist
This is one of the most important warm up exercises before the workout.
How to do Upper Body Twist?
- To do the Upper body twist, assume the starting position and extend your feet shoulder wide apart. Then bend your arms.
- Now start by turning your body, hips, and torso to the right.
- Stay at that position for a while and then return back to the center.
- Repeat what you did on the right side on the left side and also pause for a while before you return to the center.
- While you are twisting, inhale and you should exhale when you return to the center.
- To get the best from warm-up exercise, repeat this 16 times on each side. This exercise (upper body twist) makes your spine more flexible by stretching.
Read More: HIIT Cardio Workout Exercises
11. Swaying hands up and down
Nobody needs to explain this to you before you can get this done. This is one of the easiest warm-up exercises. The purpose of swaying hands up and down is to keep the hand alert and get it ready for other exercises. Swaying the hand up and down will help the ball and socket joints of the hand, elbows to be in good condition.
Alternate the process of swaying the hands up and down to get the best.
Just walk slowly around where you have done the entire warm-up exercise that has been explained. The cooldown after exercising plays a role of intense stretching during the exercise.
The role of the cool down exercise is to bring fresh blood into areas of your body where lactic acid needs to be removed. The cooldown will help remove the lactic acid. Another benefit of the cooldown is to speed up the rate at which your heart rate is brought down to resting pulse or resting heart rate safely.
If the cooldown is done properly, you will feel recovered from the intense exercise you have gone through that is making you feel like a puppy that has been whipped. The cooldown is the starting phase of your recovery process.
I am sure at this point, you will be able to carry out warm-up exercise before work out. The benefit of each warm-up exercise has also been explained. Along with exercise, a perfect diet plan should also be followed to attain a perfectly healthy body.