no secret warming up is an important part
of your fitness routine. A warm-up helps prepare
your body for exercise by increasing the heart
rate and circulation, loosening your
joints, and increasing blood flow to your muscles. But forget the static stretching
you learned in PE class. There’s little benefit to simply
bending over to touch your toes and hanging out
there for a while. Save those static stretches
for after your workout to help increase
your flexibility and relieve your muscles. Try this dynamic
warm-up instead. It includes full-body movements
that slowly increase your body temperature while rehearsing
movement patterns you’re likely use in your workouts. The focus should be on
technique and range of motion, so no weights are used. Plus these full-body
movements use lots of muscles and
coordination which also preps your central nervous system. You can add a bit
of light cardio before the high five warm-up. And foam rolling is a
great pre-workout activity that will help reduce tension
in chronically tight areas. Let’s take a look at the five
key movements you should always try to include. The overhead squat is a
great full-body exercise that focuses on integrating
your body from head to toe. To get started, bring your
feet about hip distance apart. If you have any
lower back issues, you might want to go
just a little bit wider. Arms go up overhead. You’re going to want
to be able to see your arms in your
peripheral vision throughout the entire movement. Put the weight in your heels. And you’re going to
sit back as if you’re aiming for a chair behind you. Go as low as you
comfortably can, keeping the weight
in your heels, toes lifted in your shoes. Do about 10 repetitions
to get started. If you feel like you
need a little extra help, you can choose a balance
aid such as a bar, a wall, or a friend. Put it out in front of
you or off to the side. Use that to help you
sit a little bit lower. You can also use a chair
or a bench and aim. Target the edge of the chair
as you sit, and come back up. The stationary lunge
is a fantastic exercise to warm up the lower body. You’re going to begin with your
feet about hip distance apart. And then take a step forward. Don’t step too far. And maintain the hip distance,
so you can keep your balance. Arms cross at shoulder height,
keeping the elbows lifted, forms parallel to the ground. This is going to help you
keep your torso upright throughout the entire movement. Bend both knees, and lower
down towards the ground. You want to get to
where your knee just hovers above the ground. Pause. And then return to standing. Repeat 10 times on this leg. And then step back, and
set up on the opposite leg. If you need a little help
in the balance department so you can get that
range of motion, you can use any type
of a stable surface. The single leg reach will help
fire up your core and glutes, as well as improve your balance
and stability on both legs. You’re going to begin
about arm’s distance away from a wall. That way you can use this as
a balance aid if you need. One leg goes behind
you, reaching forward, then the back leg,
and hinge at the hips. Ideally, we want
to reach the ground and maintain
head-to-hip posture. But, of course, you could stop
at any point along the way. The goal is to try to not
touch the foot down in between. But you can. And if you’re just
getting started, feel free to keep
the foot on the floor and just practice the hinging. The plank is great for firing
up the front side of your body, specifically your core. And your core is vital in
every workout as well as your daily life. So to begin, come
down to the floor. You’re going to place your
forearms on the ground, elbows right underneath
the shoulders, and reach your legs back. Now, if you need to begin
with your knees on the floor, that’s a great way to
start the exercise. We want to work up
to being able to hold this for 30 to 60 seconds. And when you can do
that comfortably, come up onto your toes. Be sure that the hips
are down, chest is open, and you’re pressing
down into the ground. And you should start to feel
your core fire up right away. Bird dog is the perfect
exercise for firing up the back side of your body,
as well as the shoulder region and the hip region. The shoulders and hips
need to be mobile but also stable during exercise. And this is a wonderful
way to work on that. We’re going to begin with
our knees about hip distance apart, hands right
underneath the shoulders. Throughout this exercise, head
to tail one straight line. Envision a glass of water
here on your tailbone. Try not to let it spill. Begin by extending
one leg behind you, keeping the hips
square to the ground. And then lift the opposite
arm in front of you at shoulder height. When you can, lift the
back up, find your balance, and then bring the elbow to meet
the knee underneath your body. Extend the arm and leg back out. Pause. And then return to
the starting position and do the exercise
on the other side. [MUSIC PLAYING]