JOE's workout warmup tips: Swinging into action
JOE takes a look at a few warmups that you can tack on to the start of your workout to get the best from your routine
While stretching is vital to any workout, dynamic movements in particular are the best way to warm up your muscles rather than static movements, as this both loosens out the joints and muscles as well as warming them up at the same time.
With that in mind, here are a few exercises that will get you swinging your joints into action.
These are fairly self explanatory, and great for warming up the shoulder joint, which is under stress not only when you workout your shoulders, but also your chest and back.
Start by making ten small circles in a forwards direction, then ten medium sized ones, then ten large ones, then reverse the process and the direction – so start with ten large circles in a backwards direction, then ten medium ones, then ten small ones.
Front to Back Leg Swings
For this one, the name is pretty much all you need to know, and make sure that you've got plenty of room to do them in!
Standing on one leg, swing your other leg forwards and backwards, making sure that your upper body stays in position and doesn't swing too much with the movement, and that you can get your leg into more or less a 90 degree position at the front of the swing and as close to that as possible at the back of the swing. If you find that you can't get your leg very high, make sure to do this particular exercise every time you go to the gym, as it will loosen the muscles and give you a full range of motion back. Go for three sets of ten on each leg here.
Sideways Leg Swings
Similar to the front and back leg swings, you need plenty of space and to make sure that you've got the right extension on both directions for the swing.
For both the leg swing exercises, if you need some extra stability, hold on to a bench or a pillar to keep your balance, and in particular this one is a warm up where you'll need it.
You want to create a motion where, while standing on one leg, you can sweep your other leg across your body (by rotating your hips) and kick as high as you can before returning the other direction and doing the same.
Get three sets of ten on each leg in, and here's an illustrative video to make it a little clearer what the exercise should look like.
These are pretty old school, but have stuck around because they work. Put your feet shoulder width apart, your hands on your hips and rotate your hips in a circular motion, first clockwise, then when you get back to your starting point, reverse direction and go back. Do ten circles in total (so five clockwise, five anti-clockwise) and do three sets.
That's it, your joints should be nicely warmed up and your muscles in those areas should be warm, which will help to prevent injury and soreness.
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Enjoy Mooju as part of a healthy balanced diet and active lifestyle.