Warm Up Exercises

Check out some great warm up exercises to help get you ready to workout. With warm-up stretches, you help to prepare the muscles for action, to hopefully prevent injuries like torn muscles! Easy and quick sets of exercises to do wherever you workout.

When you look at warm up exercises, you need to progress to the following sequence of stretches only after you have warmed up the muscles properly.

Remember that your warm-up is the key to unlocking tight muscles, which is the cause of injury. Read the notes on how to warm-up prior to performing these stretches, and also the information on stretching techniques and stretching exercises, for those new to stretching.

Hold each stretch for a minimum of 20-30 seconds, breathing slowly through your nose, aiming to exhale out through your mouth as you ease into the stretch.
 


For best results, push against a wall.

Easy : Calf Correct Foot Position

Foot alignment should be shoulder width apart, you can confirm this by standing either side of a straight line on the floor.

When you take your rear foot back, it should not cross or move away from the midline, your foot should be pointing forward with your heel either flat on the floor, or raised if aiming to develop the stretch.

Your front leg should bend so that when you look down over your knee, you can see the tip of your toes. Lean forward aiming to keep a straight line with your heel, hip and head.

Easy : Soleus

1. Stand with both feet flat on the floor, pointing forward, half a stride apart.

2. Keeping your back straight, with your hands on your hips, exhale and lower yourself down, resting your bodyweight on the rear foot.

Easy Normal Stretch

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, one foot extended half a step forward.
2. Keeping the front leg straight, bend your rear leg, resting both hands on the bent thigh.
3. Slowly exhale, aiming to tilt both buttocks upward, keeping the front leg straight, and both feet flat on the floor, pointing forward.
4. Inhale slowly, and relax from this stretching exercise. Repeat the stretch again, this time beginning with the toes of the front foot raised toward the ceiling, but keeping the heel on the floor.

Easy : Quadriceps Standing

1. Stand holding onto a secure object, or have one hand raised out to the side for balance.

2. Raise one heel up toward your buttocks, and grasp hold of your foot, with one hand.

3. Inhale, slowly pulling your heel to your buttock while gradually pushing your pelvis forward.

4. Aim to keep both knees together, having a slight bend in the supporting leg.

Easy : Side Lunge

1. Stand upright, with both feet facing forward, double shoulder-width apart.

2. Place your hands on your hips, in order to keep your back straight, slowly exhale, taking your bodyweight across to one side.

3. Avoid leaning forward, or taking the knee of the bent leg over your toes. As you increase the stretch, the foot of the bent leg should point slightly outward.

4. To increase the stretch, relax upward, slowly sliding your feet out a few inches to the sides.

Moderate : Leg Over

1. Lie on your back, extending your left arm out to the side, while taking your left leg over your right, bringing the knee inline with the hips.

2. Keeping your right leg straight, use your right arm to push down on the knee of the left leg, exhaling slowly as you stretch.

Easy : Fetal Position

1. Lie on your back, keeping your head on the floor.
2. Slowly pull both legs into your chest, and secure them there by wrapping your arms around the back of your knees.
3. Exhale, pulling down on your legs while gradually lifting your buttocks off the floor.
4. You can stretch your neck, once in this position, by slowly tilting your chin to your chest.

Easy : Spine curve

1. Begin the stretch by laying on your front, with your hands close to your chest, fingers pointing upward.
2. Exhale, pushing yourself up with your arms and contracting your buttocks while keeping both feet firmly on the floor.
3. Look up toward the ceiling, to also feel the stretch in your neck.

Easy : Bar Twist

1. Stand with both feet facing forward, double shoulder-width apart, with legs slightly bent.
2. Use the bar to keep your upper body straight, with elbows high, as you slowly twist around in both directions.
3. Avoid moving at speed, or forcing the stretch - this is great for snowboarding and skiing - check out this site for more.

Easy : Lower Back-Cat Stretch

1. Adopt a position on all fours, point your fingers forward and your toes behind.
2. Start with a flat back, and then drop your head downward, pushing your shoulder blades upward and outward as you elevate your upper back.

Easy : Elbows Back

1. Stand or sit up right, keeping your back straight, head looking forward.
2. Place both hands on your lower back, fingers pointing downward, elbows out to your side.
3. Exhale slowly while gently pulling the elbows back, aiming to get them to touch.

Easy : Shoulder Strangle

1. Cross one arm horizontally over your chest, grasping it with either your hand or forearm, just above the elbow joint.
2. Exhale, slowly pulling your upper arm in toward your chest.
3. Aim to keep the hips and shoulders facing forward throughout the stretch.

Easy : Bicep-Wall Stretch

1. Place the palm, inner elbow, and shoulder of one arm against the wall.
2. Keeping the arm in contact with the wall, exhale and slowly turn your body around, to feel the stretch in your biceps and chest.
3. Adjust the hand position either higher or lower and repeat to stretch the multiple biceps and chest muscles.

Easy-Moderate : Hand Down Spine

1. Extend one hand down the center of your back, fingers pointing downward.
2. Use the other hand to grasp the elbow.
3. Exhale slowly, pulling gently downward on your elbow, aiming to take your fingers along your spine.

Easy : Upward Stretch

1. Extend both hands straight above your head, palms touching.
2. Inhale, slowly pushing your hands upward, then backward, keeping your back straight.
3. Exhale and relaxing from the stretch before you repeat.

Easy : Chin to Chest Front

1. Place both hands at the rear of your head, fingers interlocked, thumbs pointing down, elbows point straight ahead.
2. Slowly exhale, pulling your head downward, aiming for your chin to touch your chest.
3. Concentrate on keeping your back straight, with your shoulders down and back.
4. Relax your hands, and inhale as you lift your head.

 

 

There's are a wide range of additional warm up stretches, stretching advice and even cool down exercises in the NetFit site - as well as even more being available for a small monthly fee in our members area.