Warming up and initial stretching is an often overlooked, but very important, part of a training session that should never be overlooked. When talking warm ups, dynamic is best, a combination of movements and mobility work aimed at prepping the muscles and nervous system for the work ahead. Below are seven movements and warm-up drills that you probably aren’t doing, but you should be. Don’t worry about doing all seven during one warm-up but think of these as a pool to pull from to include in your warm-ups.
1. World’s Best Stretch
- Get into the top of a push-up position, keeping a flat back, tight core and contracted glutes.
- Step the right foot up and to the outside of the right hand.
- Keeping the left hand on the ground, lift the right hand off the ground and bend the elbow slightly.
- Reach the right elbow to the ground or as low as possible three times.
- Reach the right hand to the sky as far you can, rotating the upper body.
- Repeat the reach on the left side and return to the push up position. Do the same for the left side.
Why: This active mobility exercise will get you moving and hit many different parts of the body; the adductors of the legs, hip and t-spine (mid to upper back,) will all get a stretch and actively move through various ranges of motion.
2. Mini Band Box Walks
- Put a small “mini band” around your ankles and bend your knees and hip slightly.
- Keeping the toes straight ahead, step out your right foot laterally once and follow it up with the left foot.
- Step your right foot forward followed by the left, making sure to keep the feet spread and tension on the band.
- Step to the left, follow with the right, and finally step back with the left foot. At this point you should have completed a box shape.
Why: Mini bands are one of my favorite ways to warm up the hips and legs for a workout. Go slowly and control each step to make sure the hips are ready.