Workout Warm Up
Here’s a fun little video and blog post, sharing how I like to warm up before heading out on a run! You can use this routine to warm up for any workout, to loosen up the muscles and get the heart rate up. Or you could even use this as a way to help little ones shake out some sillies! We used to do a lot of these drills in my elementary school P.E. class. Choose a relatively flat grass or pavement surface, with plenty of open space to travel back and forth. Good posture is very important, with the core engaged, shoulders back, chin up and glutes activated. Whenever in motion, it’s also important to do your best to maintain symmetry with both sides of the body, keeping the hips leveled. It also helps to relax, smile and have fun! Listen to your body and go at a pace that feels safe for your fitness level and abilities.
Toe Touches - Lift one leg up as high as you can, out in front of you, with the goal to be able to keep both legs relatively straight, while reaching with the opposite hand to your extended toes, parallel to the ground. The other arm can extend out at your side, at a 90-degree angle from the arm that is reaching out for the toes, so as to help maintain balance. Alternate left hand to right toes, right hand to left toes. This one can be done fairly slowly.
High Knees - This exercise can be done at a faster pace compared to the toe touches. I like to move my arms in a running motion, while getting those knees up as high as they’ll go!
Butt Kicks - This motion is also similar to running, but with the added effort of bringing your foot back so far that you tap your backside with it.
Side Shuffle - This one and the next one are great warm up drills for sports like basketball and soccer, as they work well for lateral defender movements, as well as foot speed and agility. Get down low into a defender position, with feet shoulder width apart, knees bent and arms stretched straight out from your sides. Shuffle to the right for several paces and then moving in the opposite direction to the left for an equal distance. When moving to the right, your left foot will move to the right and replace your right foot, while the right foot will move further to the right. And alternatively, when moving to the left, your right foot will replace your left foot, while the left foot moves further left.
Grapevine - This one is more tricky and not only provides a physical workout, but also a coordination exercise for the brain. It’s similar to the side shuffle, but when moving to the right, the left foot alternates crossing in front of and then behind the right foot. And the right foot does the same to the left, when moving in the left direction. This one gets my heart rate up the most!
And that’s it! I like to do two reps in this order. Before or after your workout, I highly suggest spending at least 10 minutes stretching. You can check out my favorite stretching routine here!
Tell us! What’s your favorite workout routine?