Jowan Ortega @mngrown_brooklynbuilt
Sometimes it feels that it can be overwhelming to choose which movements are the best for you and before you know it your warm-up is longer or just as long as your workout. While it can seem daunting to know what to do, I feel that you need to first understand the purpose of your warm-up. Simply put, your warm-up should prepare your body for the movements that you are about to perform. You want to increase your body temperature, have some perspiration and your muscles should feel relatively good. You do not want to feel cold, stiff, or exhausted after performing your warm-up. Here are four of my favorite movements to perform during your warm-up, whether you don’t have much time and use just these movements or decide to add them to your warm-up routine. Above, is a video showing visual demonstrations for each of the movements that I have mentioned and I have described how to perform them below.
Worlds Greatest Stretch
This is my favorite. It doesn’t matter if I have all of the time in the world or a few minutes to get in a warm-up, this is my go-to movement that I perform myself and have all of my clients do as well. It truly works every part of your body (ankles, hamstrings, groin, hips, back, and shoulders) and is very modifiable for almost every ability.
Here's how to perform it:
1. Start in a standing position with your feet under your hips and soft knees.
2. Reach down and touch your toes. Pause for a moment in this position and take a deep breath.
3. Next, walk your hands out so that your body is in a plank position. Again, pause for a moment and take a deep breath or two.
4. Bring your right foot forward so that it is right next to your right hand.
5. Take a deep breath.
6. Exhale, take your right arm, rotate open towards your right leg, and continue all the way up to the ceiling. Pause in this position and take three deep breaths.
7. Bring your arm back down to the starting position and your right foot back into the plank.
8. Now do the same thing for the left side, except you bring your left foot forward.
9. Next, you will drop your butt a little bit and bring your right foot forward so that you will be in a deep squat position.
10. Be sure to keep your chest up as best you can, push your feet through the floor, take three deep breaths and stand up.
11. Repeat for 3-5 reps.
Another movement that I have the majority of my clients perform. I typically have them utilize this movement during their cool down, but I think it is another great way to warm up the inner thighs in a way that allows you to dictate the intensity.
Here's how to perform it:
1. Start on your hands and knees on the floor. Hands/wrists underneath your shoulders and knees directly underneath your hips.
2. Stick one of your legs straight out to the side. The inside of your foot/shoe should be flat on the ground.
3. While keeping your hands on the floor, shift your hips straight back behind you. You should be reaching forward and your hips should be further back behind you than in your starting position. To ease intensity, point your toes toward the ceiling/sky.
4. Pause and hold that position for a moment. Take a deep breath and exhale.
5. Inhale and shift your body back to the starting position.
6. Exhale and repeat shifting your hips back behind you.
7. Repeat. Perform 5-6 reps on the same leg.
8. Switch to the other leg and repeat for 5-6 reps.
Single-Leg Glute Bridges
I believe that single-leg glute bridges are a great way to not only get your glutes firing prior to your workout but a simple way to gauge any discrepancies in firing from either side. Personally, my right side takes a little more to get firing so I do a few more reps on that side. You should feel the muscles contract or a “burning” sensation to indicate that you are indeed using the correct muscles while performing this movement. Also, please note that if doing this movement on one leg and is a little more difficult, then perform your regular glute bridge with both feet on the ground.
Here's how to perform it:
1. Lay down flat on your back with legs bent and feet on the ground.
2. Make sure your feet are under your knees. Your heels should be close enough to your butt where you can touch your heels if you were to slightly crunch up.
3. Tuck your pelvis under. I like to say if you had a belt on, tuck your belt buckle into your belly button.
4. Take one leg and bend it to 90 degrees with your foot off of the floor and hold it in that position. It will remain there throughout the duration of your reps.
5. Take a deep breath in and push your foot that is on the ground through the floor.
6. Exhale and squeeze your hips toward the ceiling.
7. Pull your hips back down to the ground.
8. Repeat for 6-10 reps per side.
This is one of those funky movements that look a little crazy, but really opens the hips and loosens up the lower back for me. This movement may not feel the best at first, but once you get the hang of it and do it a few times, it really does start to feel better.