[VIDEO] How To Do A Proper Warm Up

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Published: September 16, 2015


Every good workout starts with a good warm up and should end with a brief cool down. Warm ups are designed to prepare your body and mind for exercise while the cool down should help return your body to its pre-exercise state. While you might save a few minutes by skipping the warm up and cool down, doing so is not recommended. For a start, missing out your warm up may increase your risk of injury while skipping your cool down could leave your muscles feeling sore and tight. Totalling no more than ten-minutes, there really is no good reason not to warm up and cool down properly!

How to warm up

A warm up is made up from three main components: A pulse raiser, mobility exercises and dynamic flexibility exercises. The pulse raiser is the part of the warm up that makes you feel warmer while the mobility and dynamic stretches affect your joints and muscles respectively.

Pulse raiser: Do 2-3 minutes of marching on the spot, jogging on the spot, step ups or jumping rope. Start off slow and increase your speed a little over that time. You should finish the pulse raiser feeling slightly out of breath and, maybe, sweating lightly.

Joint mobility: Do ten repetitions of the following exercises…

  1. Shoulder shrugs – pull your shoulders up to your ears
  2. Head turns – look left and then right
  3. Arm bend and reach – curl your hands up to your shoulders and then reach up toward the ceiling
  4. Side bends – lean down to your left and then your right
  5. Squats – imagine you are going to sit down in a chair that is behind you. Try to bend a little further rep by rep

RELATED: 8 Dynamic Warm Ups You Should Master

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Dynamic flexibility: Do ten repetitions of the following exercises…

  1. Forward leg swings – swing one leg and then the other forward as though you are kicking a foot ball
  2. Lunge and overhead reach – lunge forward and reach overhead with your opposite arm i.e. left leg forward/right arm up
  3. Step back and pull – step back into a calf stretch and simultaneously pull back with your arms as though you are rowing. Step back in and change legs


Now your warm up is complete, you should be ready to get to work but before you start exercising, please consider the following:

  • Drink plenty of water while exercising to stay hydrated
  • Use a towel or mat for all kneeling lying exercises
  • Clear some space and make sure you have room to move
  • Feel free to do more or less exercise than is prescribed according to your fitness levels
  • If an exercise is new to you, make sure you practice it for a moment to make sure you know how to do it before you start your workout
  • If you feel unwell or any exercise feels very uncomfortable, stop immediately

RELATED: 8 Dynamic Warm Ups You Should Master

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Radiant is a bi-annual print and digital health magazine dedicated to the discerning African woman and her journey to wellness through health, beauty and culture. Available at Barnes & Noble stores and other retailers (see stockists) and online. Ships worldwide. Subscribe to our newsletter and get a free digital copy of issue No.06.

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