The first line of defense in safeguarding these aspects is a good warm-up. Getting the body game or even just gym-ready is a crucial step in the successful execution of any physical activity, here’s why.
Why Warm Up?
Warming up, as we mentioned, serves two distinct purposes. First and most important, it reduces the risk of injury. That’s because a good lower body stretches ensures that your joints, muscles and connective tissues are correctly activated for dynamic and intense movements.
Warming up your biomechanical system ensures that you optimize your range of movement as well as awakening the required motor units so that your nerves function correctly where muscular contraction is concerned.
Warming up also activates other important organ systems such as your cardiovascular system, lungs, and central nervous system. All these working at an optimum level ensure that you will reduce the risk of injury or exercise-related trauma.
The second reason a good warm-up is important is that it increases the quality of the workout you’re about to do. When it comes to the lower body stretches, a good warm-up is especially important.
That’s because we tend to neglect our lower body conditioning, especially the hips and pelvic girdle. When everything is good and ready to fire off, you can bet your workout will be better in quality, duration, and outcomes.
What You’ll Need?
In order to really get the warm-up going in the right direction, there are a few things and pieces of equipment you should take into consideration.
- Resistance bands of varying resistance
- Plyo box
- 2 aerobic steppers
Top 5 Lower Body Stretches, Warmup Exercises
1. Monster Walks
Monster walks are a great way to activate the hips, quads, and hamstrings for a boost in range of motion as well as blood flow.
Start off by binding your knees and ankles with resistance bands, tight enough that you feel a reasonable amount of tension at shoulder width foot placement. From here begin to walk, alternating between 5 steps forward and 5 steps back. Do this for about a minute to complete the exercise.
2. Lateral Band Walks
With your resistance bands still attached as with the monster walks, begin to shuffle sideways. Make sure you have a slight flexion in your knees before you begin moving.
Take 5 steps to one side, then 5 steps back, alternating from side to side. Continue for about 1 minute, these are great for hip flexor activation and optimizing the lateral plane.
3. Shallow Box Jump
Standing in front of a small plyo box from the ground, jump up with both feet together, landing on the box and stepping back down.
Repeat this action for a minute with adequate intervals so you don’t actually tire yourself out.
4. Broad Jumps
Similar to the box jump, the broad jump is more horizontal where box jumps are aimed at vertical power. Space two aerobic steppers a comfortable distance from each other. Stand on one with feet hip-width apart with slight flexion in the knees while applying your weight into your forefoot.
Have your arms positioned behind you ready to swing as you perform the jump to the second stepper. Upon landing, engage in a shallow squat in order to maintain balance. From this step, turn around 180 degrees and prepare for a jump back.
Do this for about 1 minute, being careful to space your jump frequency so you don’t get too tired before your actual workout. Bot the box jump and broad jumps are great leg power activators with the combined benefit of cardio stimulation.
5. Forward and backward high Knee.
For this one, simply perform a jog, but instead of a normal running gait, you want to raise your knees to about hip height with each step.
Do this moving forward for 6 steps, it help's to lower body stretches, then reverse and jog backward another 6. Continue to alternate forwards and backward for about 1 minute.
These warm-up exercises are are a great way to boost your performance capabilities in 5 minutes before your workout. Just remember, a warm-up is just that, a warm-up, not a workout.
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