Warm-Up Exercises You Can Do at Home
Doing warm-up exercises before your workout is something that you should never skip, whether you train at home or outside.
The problem is that warming up isn’t always given the importance it deserves, especially before going for a run or a bike ride or setting up to exercise at home with the help of an app or video. The same is true when training at the gym.
It’s important to know that it’s not enough to start slowly. This can be useful to raise body temperature, for example, but it’s not enough.
Suitable warm-up exercises to do at home
Joint mobility exercises and dynamic stretching are essential at the beginning of a good warm-up, especially if you’re going to train outdoors and if it’s cold. These exercises don’t take long and they help prepare your body in order to prevent injury and to get the most out of your efforts.
Read this: The Best Dynamic Stretches Before Running
Joint mobility warm-up exercises
Joint mobility exercises, as well as warming up your joints, help make your muscles more flexible. This type of exercise prepares the body for intense movements, stimulating the nervous system, muscles and tendons in a dynamic way.
This type of joint mobility exercise includes rotating your wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, spine, hips, knees, and ankles. Flexion extension movements can also be a good idea, especially if they’re related to the exercise you’ll be doing after.
Some of the more interesting joint mobility workouts include the following:
- Shoulder raises: toward the ears and back to the starting position
- Shoulder rotations: forwards and backwards
- Full arm circles: forwards and also backwards
- Hip circles: inwards and then outwards
- Leg swings: forwards and backwards and side to side
- Cross arm circles: forwards and also backwards, keeping your arms parallel to the floor
- Walking jacks: these are the low-impact version of the jumping jack. Take a step to one side, raising your arms out to the side and then lowering them again. Repeat to the other side.
Don’t miss: Try This Whole-Body Stretching Routine
Once you’ve done the joint mobility exercises, it’s time to move on to dynamic stretching exercises. These are a great way to get your whole body warmed up at home.
The problem with static stretches is that your body needs to be warm in order for them to be effective. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, gets the muscles to loosen up little by little as you continue to work on joint mobility.
Some interesting dynamic stretches are the following:
- Knees to chest: Alternately raise each knee and hug it to your chest to maximize the stretch.
- Walk outs: Start with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Then flex your hips to reach the floor with your hands and crawl into a high plank position. Pause briefly, then move your hands back down to your feet and stand up.
- Side lunges: Spread your legs apart with your feet facing forward. Bend one knee and lower your hips slightly. Then shift your weight to the other side. Repeat several times.
- Frankenstein walk: Walk with your legs straight, raising them as high as possible, touching your foot with your hand.
Aerobic movements are warm-up exercises that you can do at home and that don’t need much space. Once you’ve done your joint mobilization and dynamic stretching you can do some of these:
- March on the spot: It’s important that you walk like a soldier, raising your knees and moving your arms in coordination, exaggerating your movements a little.
- Gentle jogging, raising your knees: This is the same as marching on the spot, but adds the intensity of jogging while you perhaps don’t need to raise your knees so high.
- Skipping: If you’re going out for a run, skipping is a good way to warm up before going out. It’ll also improve your technique.
- Jumping rope: You can include this exercise in your warm-up to increase intensity.
Warming up is key
Warm-up exercises are important to prepare the body for exercise. Spending at least 10 minutes warming up will prepare you for your training and result in better performance and fewer injuries.
If you’re going to exercise outdoors, it’s important to warm up at home, especially if it’s cold during winter. Even if you go to the gym, doing your warm-up–or at least a part of it–will allow you to start training straight away, diving into what you like the most.