This series of exercises should follow a pulse-raising warm-up. The aim is to mobilise your joints and stretch your muscles to help avoid injury and get the mose from your workout.
They are called dynamic stretches as you move to stretch (as opposed to static stretches which you simply hold in place).
Perform your stretches with feet about hip distance apart, stand tall with your shoulders back and arms relaxed by your side, hands facing forward. Move from one stretch to the next with no rest period
Neck stretch – slowly turn you head to one side, stop when you feel the muscles in your neck beginning to stretch out, slowly turn back the other way – repeat 3 times. Each turn should take about 3-5 seconds to go from left to right and vice versa.
Shoulder shrug – raise both of your shoulders up towards your ears and down again. Take about 2 seconds to go up and 2 down. Repeat 5 times.
Arm windmills – slowly describe large circles in the air with your arms straight, keeping them as close to the body as possible throughout the action. Make 10 turns forwards and 10 backwards.
Hula hips – place you hands on your hips and circle your hips slowly in a clockwise direction as if using a hula hoop, 10 turns this way then 10 turns anticlockwise.
Knee high – raise your foot off the ground and bend your knee in a marching action – exaggerate the lift so that your upper leg is parallel to the floor, repeat on the other leg – complete 10 left-right actions taking about 20 seconds in all.
Heel flip – bend you kneed so that you heel heading for your bottom. Alternate between left and right, complete 10 per leg taking around 20 seconds in total.
Heel drop – take a long step forward and with both feet facing forwards lift and lower the heel of the rear foot. Raise and lower slowly on one side for 8 -10 times then change legs and do the same on the other side.
Ankle turns – lift one leg off the ground, holding onto a wall if needed, turn your ankle gently 5 times clockwise and 5 times anticlockwise, change legs and repeat.
You may feel you have cooled down a little by now so you might want to to re-warm and raise your heart rate a little more if you are about to start a vigorous workout. Simply repeat the warm-up exercises with a little more vigour for about 30-45 seconds each this time or go for a short cycle or run . The key is to go a little beyond the pulse raiser in terms of intensity.
Enjoy your workout!
Safety: Seek advice from a medical professional before starting any exercise programme. Stop immediately if you feel pain. The first time you perform this exercise should be under the supervision of a qualified fitness professional.
By Michelle Day
Michelle is a Level 3 qualified Personal Trainer for Inspiring Fitness. She has a mobile and studio based PT business in Bristol. Her clients range from those who have never exercised before to Ironman triathletes.Tags: