No matter what today's workout calls for, you should always take a few minutes to prep your body for whatever activity you're planning on doing.
Warming up helps you:
- Gradually rev up your cardiovascular system, which causes less stress on your heart to get pumping.
- Increase your body temperature to help increase the elasticity in your muscles and avoid muscle strains and tears.
- Mentally prepare for your workout and identify areas that will need more attention during your workout.
So if you're planning to go on a run, hit a heavy leg day lift, or just need to loosen your leg muscles up a little from your last leg day, give these exercises a try for a quick and easy warm-up!
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your back straight, hinge at the hips to lower your torso forward until it's parallel to the floor. This is also called a "good morning" position.
- Maintaining a straight spine, sit back by bending your knees and dropping your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Extend your knees and raise your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor, returning to the good morning position.
- Raise your torso and bring your hips back underneath you.
Hip Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs)
- Start in a quadruped position (on all fours) with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips.
- Engage your core, and keep your back straight and flat from your hips to the top of your head.
- Shift your weight to one side, keeping your torso stable and without rotating your hips or shoulders as you shift.
- Keeping the opposite knee at a 90-degree angle, raise the leg back and then out to the side, away from the body to open the hip.
- Gently return the leg back to the starting position and repeat 5-10 times on each side.
- Start in a quadruped position with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Shift the weight onto one side of your body and extend your leg on the opposite side straight out to the side.
- Use your shoulders to shift your weight forward and back to achieve a deeper stretch in your hip abductors.
Half Kneeling Ankle Dorsiflexion
- Kneel on the floor or on a mat with both knees. Place one foot forward so that your hip and knee are at a 90-degree angle.
- Keeping your torso upright, slowly lean forward until you feel a comfortable stretch through your groin and the top of the thigh on your back leg. (You can place your hands on your front knee for additional support.)
- Move slowly, back and forth about 5-10 times on each side or hold for 30 seconds.