We all know that warming up before a workout is strongly urged, but do you know which type of warm-up activity will prepare you for your workout the best? Different types of workouts work different parts of the body, and it is important to make sure that all necessary areas are stretched, warmed-up and ready for your workout and reduce your risk of injury.
Foam rolling is good for relieving trigger points, or “knots”, in your muscles. Reliving these â€œknotsâ€ is beneficial, as working muscles with trigger points can be painful and made worse by exercise if not stretched properly.
Foam rolling helps to rid your muscles of these discomforts and better prepare your muscles for the physical activity they are about to endure. This warm-up can be used before any exercise, as the rolls can be used to target different parts of the body.
Also called “running in place,” high kneesÂ help get your blood flowing and your heart rate up so your body is prepared for physical activity. High knees are especially good to do before running or any cardio exercise.
To do high knees, stand with your feet together, then one leg at a time bend and raise your knee up to your chest. Do this at a brisk pace about 20 times.
Upper back rotation is great for loosening up the sensitive muscles in your back. Making sure your back is properly stretched and prepared is especially important if you are going to be lifting weights of any kind. If not warmed up, you could injure your back as those muscles play an important role in lifting.
Though used before with lifting and other strength building exercises, upper back rotations can be done before any exercise. With a strong back, you’ll be less likely to injure yourself when exercising.
To complete upper back rotations, get on all four hands and knees. Place one hand behind your head, bring your elbow on that arm down, and rotate in toward the other elbow. Then, rotate that elbow toward the ceiling while turning your head, while keeping your lower back and belly button in place.
The ankle is often ignored during warm-ups, but it’s imperative that they be stretched too. Performing rocking ankles will help you increase your mobility and stabilization. Not to mention that ankle injuries are often ignored, which can lead to problems like lesions.
To perform rocking ankles, get into a push up position. Then, pick up one foot and place it on the heel of the opposite foot. Now, walk your hands back so your butt is raised slightly, then rock your heels to the ground and back up. This motion will stretch the backs of your legs and help strengthen your ankles.