Starting the year strong is everyone’s new year’s resolution, which is why I love my fun and sweaty job especially in January. Since I know you’ll be sweating more than ever this year I wanted to make sure you are starting each workout strong (not wrong). The way you warm up for all those sweat sessions is essential beauties, so let’s get this party started with the perfect warm up to help you shape up.
1. Keep It Dynamic
Static stretching is so 1989 ladies. So no more bending over and making your knees touch your elbows before a workout. Instead, start with a dynamic warm up that imitates the movement that you’ll be doing in your actual workout. For instance if you are gearing up for a run–jumping jacks moving forward and walking forward lunges will get your hips, core and heart rate ready for the miles ahead. Plus a dynamic workout that covers the next six areas will help reduce tension, improve mobility and activate lazy muscles. So do 10 reps of each and in 10 minutes or less you will be ready to rock and roll boo.
2. Roll With It
If you don’t own a foam roller or know how to use the ones at the gym, then this year make it your business to roll with it. Research shows that foam rolling pre-workout can improve range of motion during a workout and reduce soreness afterward. Do a total body self-massage by starting with your calves, then hit your glutes, hamstrings, IT bands, quads and shoulders.
3. Get In Some Hip Action
As ladies we neglect our hips and hip flexors far too often, therefore sashaying our way toward a hip specific warm up is essential. When our hips flexors are tight proper movement in exercises like squats and lunges is inhibited, so try a move like the clam shell. Simply lie on one side with your knees bent, keep your hips still and lift your top knee. Hold it for two seconds then return to start. Do 10 reps on one side, then switch.
4. Send A Jolt To Your Junk
Considering all the sitting we do daily it is crucial that we send a little jolt to our junk with some glute firing exercises pre-workout. My favorite RAD exercise that get’s me ready to kick butt (pun intended) is the pelvic bridge. Simply start lying on your back with your knees bent and lift your hips until your knees and shoulders form a straight line. Hold at the top for two seconds and then return to start.
5. Not Your Average Ankles
If you’re high heel lover chances are that both your shoe closet and your ankles are probably tight. So ladies before you change from your stilettos to your Nike’s after work, work your ankles with a standing stretch. Start by placing both of your hands on a wall with one foot staggered two to three feet in front of the other. Next slowly drive your front knee toward the wall, then back to start. Do 10 reps on each side.
6. Stand Up Before You Shape Up
Proper posture allows your muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments to work like a well oiled machine girls. So while you’re over there by the wall do some wall slides. Stand with your back against the wall and slide the backs of your hands, elbows and arms up the wall. Slide them down to make a W shape by retracting your shoulder blades. and then return to stat. Do this 10 times.
7. Drop It Low
I love love love a good squat, however a body weight squat doesn’t quite cut it for a total body warm up. So try this reaching squat to help turn on all the muscles needed for your total body workout next time it’s time to “drop it low.” Start standing with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, arms raised overhead. Then bend at your waist to grab your toes. Next lower your hips down into a squat position, knees outside your arms. Then to finish the movement off lift your chest and raise your arms overhead all at once. Stand and repeat for 10 reps total.
Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!