JOE's pre-workout tips: All over stretches for increased range of movement
Stretching is key to making sure you not only stay loose, but also injury free
One of the most important but often forgotten parts of any good workout is the warm up. Sometimes you're pushed for time while other times you can't face doing any more than the bare minimum and you just want to get in and out of the gym.
However, the warm up is an essential part of any workout to make sure that your body is ready and fully prepared to take on the task at hand. From increasing your range of motion to making sure that you don't suffer any pain in muscles that tighten up, taking a few stretches inspired by yoga is a great way to start your session.
We're not talking about doing a full yoga class (although that wouldn't be a bad thing), rather a few key stretches that will relax your back, legs and most importantly neck. In particular if you're lifting heavy weights, you want to make sure that your neck is relaxed and you don't involve it in your range of motion.
To start, we'll go for the basics. Sit down cross-legged on the ground, but bring your left food over on top of your right knee. This is the basic sitting position in yoga known as the double pigeon. It's very simple, but can give you a great stretch on your lower back and glutes. From here, lean forward, and keep an eye on your breathing making sure it remains deep and controlled.
You don't need to go too far forward, but when you do, put your hands out straight in front of you and walk the move out slowly so that you can feel when it gets too tight. Allow the weight of your head and neck to come into the movement as you bring them towards the floor too.
The next crucial stretch, if you only have time for one or two is the downward facing dog. This will give you a great all over stretch, from your legs to your back and shoulders. Start on your hands and knees, and lean back so that your bum sits on your heels and bring your head towards the ground.
Walk your hands as far forward as you can, and then bring your body forward to your hands and knees again and straighten out your legs so you end up in this position.
The ideal is that your heels touch the floor, so allow your knees to soften a little bit, provided that you still feel it in the hamstring. Keep your arms straight and try to bring your neck and head in between your arms, once again allowing their weight to enter into the stretch and release the tension in your neck.
Nutrition is always key to any workout, and for something great with a high protein content that’s also delicious, try Mooju chocolate milk. With over 10g of protein in a 250ml container, as well as carbohydrate. Mooju is a great choice for your workout.
Enjoy Mooju as part of a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle.