"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

The best exercises to your warm-up.

What does a warm-up do?

Warm-up activities serve several purposes:

  • They pump blood, which sends oxygen and energy to your tissues and muscles, in order that they're ready for activity.
  • They put muscles and joints through their range of motion, gently stretching them to accommodate a wide selection of motion.
  • They prepare joints for forward and backward motion, side-to-side motion, and rotation.

For moderate intensity activity

The style of warm-up you would like depends upon your activity. For a vigorous routine or moderate-intensity activity (equivalent to brisk walking or riding a motorcycle on level ground), marching in place for a couple of minutes makes an efficient warm-up. Swing your arms as you march.

“Alternating leg activity can quickly raise the heart rate, which is important in the warm-up,” says Ruggeri. “Marching also works your leg and hip muscles. The leg you lift works the hip flexors. Your stationary leg works the gluteal muscles. [in the buttocks] and quadriceps [in the thighs]”

Move of the Month: Alternating Hamstring Curls

Stand together with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your left knee to bring your left knee toward your hip as you balance in your right leg. Immediately return to the starting position. Repeat together with your right leg. Continue this left-right sequence for a complete of 10 times on each leg. Let your arms swing forwards and backwards as you progress.

Photo by Michael Carroll

For more intense activity

For vigorous physical activity, equivalent to swimming or playing tennis, or strenuous physical activity, equivalent to golf, you have to a more extensive warm-up. For example: “Golf requires you to swing your arms and bend your trunk. Tennis and pickleball require lateral shuffles in addition to these movements. So you'll want to build the muscles for that.” ” says Ruggeri.

One option to warm up is to practice the movements you’ll perform later. “Repeat the movement, slowly and in a controlled manner, to allow the body to adapt to the activity,” says Ruggeri. “For example, for tennis, stand in place and do a slow backhand swing to warm up the shoulder and core muscles.”

Other warm-up activities to perform before vigorous exercise include marching in place, arm sweeps (sweeping your arms overhead), torso rotations (turning your torso left after which right), and the next movements.

Step ups. Facing the bottom step within the ladder, take one full step up after which step back. Repeat the exercise 10 times, take a break, then do one other 10 step-ups. “It targets your quadriceps muscles when you step up, and your gluteal muscles when you step down. When you step up with one leg at a time, you're “Also prompts your core and back muscles to assist keep you upright,” says Ruggeri.

Arm rings Keep your arms out to the perimeters and move them in circles of various sizes (small, medium after which large). Move them in forward circles for 30 seconds, then back circles for 30 seconds. “It affects the shoulder muscles and the rotator cuff, a bunch of muscles and tendons in the shoulder,” says Ruggeri. “The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, and these rings allow the shoulder to have full range of motion.”

Air punches. Punch the air in front of you, alternating right and left arms for 30 seconds. Then do 30 seconds of cross-body punches: your right hand to the left after which your left hand to the correct. Also try some uppercuts. “Punching gets your heart rate up and the arm bleeds more,” says Ruggeri.

Stretching after activity

Do your exercise after the warm-up. End the activity with a stretch – hold each stretch gently for about 30 to 60 seconds. Ruggeri recommends stretching the shoulders, glutes and hip muscles, upper leg muscles (hamstrings and quadriceps) and calves. This will keep the muscles long and supple, and able to respond the following time you call on them for exercise or day by day activity.