Why Warm Up?
A warmup gets your body primed and ready for the exercise it’s about to endure. When you warm up, you gradually increase your heart rate and circulation – giving joints time to loosen and increasing the blood flow to muscles. As you stretch, muscles get prepped for activity, making them less likely to experience an injury.
So why are we so tempted to skip the warmup and fast forward to the intense workout routine? Probably because of busy days and tight schedules. But no more excuses! Here’s a no-fail warmup to practice each and every time, recommended by Women’s Health magazine.
Get pumped up with a set of crisscross jumping jacks. Start by standing with your arms straight out to your sides at shoulder height. Then spread your feet a little more than hip-width apart. Cross your arms in front of your chest and jump with your right leg in front of your left. Reverse and repeat for one minute.
Then lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips and your right knee toward your chest. Hold for two seconds, lower your right foot, then repeat with your left leg. Keep the repetition going for one minute.
Lastly, round out your warmup with a set of squats. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bend over to grab your toes (keep your legs straight!). Keep your grip on your toes while bending down to a squat, then raise your chest and shoulders. While in that position, lift one arm over your head, then lift the other. Stand up, pressing through your heels, then lower your arms and repeat for one minute.
After three minutes (one minute with each activity), you should be prepped to begin your workout. With increased blood flow, an amped-up range of motion, and a reduced risk of injury, it might just be the wisest three minutes you’ve ever spent.