A good warm up not only increases blood flow and body temperature to reduce injury risk, it should also improve your kinesthetic awareness by mimicking the actions you are going to be performing later on. Though commonly used, static stretching is actually a very poor way to warm up because it fails to achieve any of these things. Its much sexier cousin, the dynamic stretch, on the other hand, passes these criteria with flying colours and is the preferred means of warming up for all professional athletic teams. How does it work? Try these six movements for the best full body warm-up you could ever hope for.
- Step and overhead reach. Step forward and reach up over your head to warm up the upper body and abdominals.
- Step and rotate. Step to the side and rotate your upper torso over your leg to warm up the obliques.
- Step and toe touch. Step and reach down to touch your toes to warm up the lower body.
- Lunge and lean. Full body warm up and also good for balance. Lunge forward bringing your back knee to the floor and lean sideways over your front leg.
- Side lunge and toe touch. An athlete’s favourite lower body stretch. This one is especially good for the abductors and adductors.
- Side bend. Great for warming up the back and core.