It’s essential to warm up properly before exercising, or else you risk injury or subpar performance. But many people put little effort into this crucial part of exercising because it’s relatively boring.
Some folks will even skip it altogether.
But we’re here to show that it doesn’t have to be boring to perform an effective warm-up session; in fact, it can be downright fun.
The Benefits of Warming Up Properly
We all know what can happen if we don’t warm up properly before working out, but what are some of the benefits of a great warm up routine?
- Better Flexibility
- Performance Improvement
- Increased Range of Motion
- Decreased Chance of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
- Better Blood Flow
Here’s a list of our eight favorite fun and easy warm-up exercises for you to try to keep you enjoying your workouts and improving your performance.
1 – Dynamic Stretch Warm-Up
A dynamic warm-up routine is far superior to a static stretch. Static stretching can add an additional risk of injury and be detrimental to your performance. Dynamic stretches are movements that come more naturally to our bodies and are performed using only your bodyweight. The fluidity of the motion allows your body to gently warm up rather than holding a continuous stretch that can fatigue muscles before you’ve even started.
2 – Skipping
Skipping, or jump rope, is not only an excellent way of warming up before you work out, but it’s also really fun and a great cardio workout if you jump rope for extended periods. The constant motion is a surefire way of getting your heart rate elevated, your blood pumping, and your muscles warm.
3 – Heavy Bag Work
Throwing a few punches at a heavy bag is an ideal follow-up to some dynamic stretching. Start with a few simple jabs, crosses, and hooks and work your way up to some combinations. Don’t go too crazy, though; you’re supposed to be warming up, not knocking out Jake Paul. However much you might want to.
4 – Resistance Band Warm-Up
Warming up with some light resistance bands (like these from Victorem) is an excellent way to warm up your muscles for a good workout in the gym. Performing overhead presses, crab walks, rows, band pull aparts, and squats with resistance bands will prime your muscle for heavier barbell work.
5 – Yoga
Yoga isn’t only a fantastic way of warming up before a workout; it’s a superb way of keeping your muscles, tendons, and joints healthy for many years to come. Make no mistake, though, yoga is challenging, and you’ll need a good teacher to teach you the basics.
6 – Medicine Ball Warm-Up
Medicine balls are an amazing tool not just for accessory exercises but for warming up too. You can get creative with the way you warm up with a medicine ball, and they’re brilliant for warming up with your gym buddy. Just don’t go too heavy with your selection of balls.
7 – Stationary Bike
While the stationary bike in and of itself might not be the most exciting way to warm up for you (though some people love it), you can use the static nature of the machine to busy your mind while you warm up your body. Catch up on your favorite Netflix series, read a book, answer those emails you’ve been putting off for the last few days. The options are endless.
8 – Jumping Jacks
You can’t go wrong with jumping jacks as part of your warm-up. They’re super easy, everyone knows how to do them, they don’t require any equipment, and doing jumping jacks to music is a fun way of getting your body moving and your heart rate up. Though don’t try to keep the rhythm to thrash metal, or you may pass out.
9 – Animal Crawls and Walks
There are a surprising number of warm-up exercises that are named after animals. Many of these routines get their names as they mimic the movements of the creatures they’re named after the crab walk, the frog jump, the bear crawl. There’s a whole host of different animal exercises you can use to warm up your body.
You can choose to incorporate one or two of these different exercises into your warm-up routine or mix and match them to create a whole new warm-up altogether. Keeping your warm-up routines interesting so that you stick to them is the most important thing to keep your body primed for the best workouts possible.
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