We’ve all heard it - static stretching before exercise is OUT and active warm-up is IN. But what do I do?
First off, active warm-up is in for a reason! By literally increasing the temperature of your muscles (get it? warm-up?) an active warm-up helps to decrease your risk for injury and prepares you for exercise by elevating your heart rate and breathing rate. You should allow approximately 10 - 20 minutes before every workout to accommodate this crucial step. Below, we have listed some of our favorite go to dynamic movements to get the blood flowing! An important note is that part of that warm-up should include any type of light aerobic activity that you enjoy - walking, biking, jogging, jumping rope - to help get you going!
Spend about 30 seconds on each of these movements --
2. Butt Kicks
3. Toy Soldiers - reach opposite arm and leg to touch
4. Lunge with Twist - walking forward lunge, twist your upper body toward the side of the front leg
5. Skipping - yes, skipping; big, powerful movement
7. Fire Hydrant - hands and knees → bring one leg out to the side while keeping the knee bent
There are many, many different dynamic movements you can explore, with varying levels of difficulty and intensity. We feel that this program is a great place to start! Keep in mind, foam rolling is also safe (and encouraged) to incorporate into your active warm-up. Check out our previous post on a great foam rolling routine!
Please, make sure that you are including a good active warm-up as part of your regular exercise program. Stay well, don’t forget to stretch, and make time for yourself to be active. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at BHPT. We’re here for you.
(All exercise photos from MedBridge Education)