Warming up for exercise might have been the boring part in PE lessons that your teacher always insisted on, but it was there for a reason: it's important. If you don't awaken your muscles, you stand a much higher chance of getting injured, so it's definitely not a part of your workout you should skip.
But the good news is, it doesn't take all that long to do a thorough warm up. "Completing a few minutes of cardio, such as jogging in place, high knees or star jumps, will increase your heart rate and help warm up your muscles ahead of your session," says SWEAT Trainer Kelsey Wells. As well as cardio, she notes it's also important to incorporate "a few dynamic stretches into your warm up routine, such as leg swings and arm circles." This, she says, "can help increase your range of motion and gently activate your muscles to also help reduce the risk of injury."
But the benefits of a warm up aren't just physical. "When you take the time to warm up your muscles, it can also get you into the right mindset and help you get the most out of your session," Kelsey says. Follow her simple yet effective six minute full-body warm-up routine before almost any workout - doing 60 seconds of each exercise - and it'll leave you ready and raring to go for that exercise.
Keeping your weight on your left leg, bend your right leg to bring your foot to your glutes and then lower to the floor. Do the same with the other leg, alternating between right and left. Increase your speed so that you are hopping from one foot to the other.
From standing position, quickly jump both feet in and out, so that they are wider than your hips, while simultaneously raising your arms up above your head and back down again.
Squat & extend
With your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, bend down to hold your feet while keeping your legs straight. Bend legs into a squat position, maintaining a straight back and with your chest facing forwards, and repeat.
With your arms extended out to either side of your body at shoulder-height, gently rotate both arms forwards in a small circle before for several rotations, before switching direction to rotate backwards.
Four point thoracic rotation
On all fours, with one hand on the back of your head, rotate your torso bringing your elbow towards the opposite wrist, and back out again towards the ceiling. Switch sides.
Without moving your feet, walk your hands forward until your body is in one straight line from your head to your heels, then walk your hands backwards to the starting position.
Happy warming up!
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