Warm Up Exercises

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Warm up exercises, as the name suggests are those required to bring about a condition in the body in which it is capable of quick and efficient actions. This prevents the body from undergoing any injuries like cramps. In warm up exercises the muscles are activated and are ready for the training or performing of a sport. Not only people going to the gym but also athletes and sportsmen do warm up exercises. This is to increase their potential in the field and optimize their endurance. Preferably one should keep stretching throughout the day. It helps in relaxing and keeps your muscles in working condition. It is even good to stretch when you get up and when you go to sleep.

Stretching is considered to be a traditional and classic way to warm up before exercising. It activates every muscle of the body all at the same time. It is less time consuming and does about the entire warm up in minimum time. However, people prefer warming up particular muscle groups. That is the other efficient, but time consuming way of doing it.

Sufficient amount of water should be consumed before, during and after warming up because warming up accounts for significant loss of water from the body in the form of sweat.

You should always start with the most easy and basic warm-ups. Start with ankle rotations, both clockwise and anticlockwise. Next comes the hip rotation. This works on the abdominal muscles. Then shoulder rotations are suited. Both the shoulders should be moved forward and backwards. Wrist should be rolled both clockwise and anti clockwise. Neck should be flexed forward and backward as well as sideways. This should be done slowly as it can cause damage to your neck muscles because they are very delicate. Touch your toes a comfortable number of times. But do it slowly as you could end up damaging your back. Jog for five minutes at the same place. This is all there is to the rotational and flexing warm up. Now let us move on to the more dynamic form of warming up.

Skipping rope or jumping rope is a very good way of warming up. It works on every part of the body at the same time. You should use a fast action to rotate the rope. The jumping should be of high frequency. The muscles that cause the jump should be of ankle and feet and not of the knees.

Ankle bounce is the imitation of rope jumping without the rope. It also features the same precautions and details as rope jumping. The hands should be down comfortably loose, but not loose enough to move freely.

Jumping jack is one of the preferred warm up exercises. Jump with your feet wide open and back together while jumping your hands over your head and back at the hips.

Side step lunge is also a nice way to warm up. In this you step directly to the side keeping you knee, head and toe in a straight line. The other leg is stretched out. This is to be repeated on both sides of your body.

V jumps start with opposite arm and foot being held forward. With small jumps the other foot and arm are to be brought forward.

Walking quad stretch needs the heel of one of your leg to touch the hip with the counter hand holding it. The other hand is held straight in forward direction.

In walking Adonis Golden Ratio lunge stretch you need to lunge forward with your hands resting on your waist sideways. The belly button should be facing forward.

In standing hamstring you rest your one leg at an elevation nearly of the height of your waist. Hold your stretched leg with your hands and try to lunge forward. Try to keep your hips as square as possible.

Kneeling hip flexor requires bending forward so that the length from toe to knee of one of your legs is touching the ground. The other leg is forward with the hands resting on it.

In kneeling quad, bring down heel to the hips and press it with your hands. Keep the other leg in a forward square position.

Chest stretches need you to hold your hands together behind your hips. The arms are then stretched towards the floor, and the shoulders are rolled back to open the chest. You should not let your back curve while doing this warm up.

Calf stretches need you to keep your toe facing a wall with your hands resting on the wall. The back heel is to be kept on the floor. This exercise activates your calf muscles, as the name suggests.

Grapevine is the running sideways at one place. It needs you to cross your legs sideways, one at a time. The hands move simultaneously with the legs in the side direction.

Power skips are the skips made at your full capacity. You must try to cover the maximum height and distance as possible. It is a tiring warm up exercise and helps you build up your stamina.

Sprints are also considered as a warm up exercise by some people. In sprinting, as a warm up exercise, you must try to cover as much ground as possible and also you should run as fast as you can. It increases your stamina for further training and activates your muscles.

Rotation jumps are jumping so that you rotate in a full or half turn while in air. It starts with your feet crossed and your hands crossed against your chest. You have to land with your feet uncrossed and your hands parallel to your body.

There are versatile advantages of warm up exercises. It decreases the probability if overstretching a muscle and cause an injury. It dilates blood vessels and hence lowers the stress on heart during the main exercise course. It helps the person to get mentally prepared for heavy workouts. It also balances the hormonal imbalances in your body thus sustaining constant energy production. Hence we can see that there are only benefits and no harms in warming up before heavy lifting or even for fun of keeping yourself fit.

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