How many times have you or someone you know suffered some surprise, random injury doing something they do every day? Maybe they "tweaked" their back picking up their child or "did something" to their shoulder while rearranging a shelf.
A well-rounded fitness routine can help avoid this, but a lot of people struggle to find the time for that. My solution is simple - a warmup routine that is quick, accessible, and well-rounded enough to help protect us from these little, avoidable injuries.
The premise is simple.
- Engage every muscle group and joint
- Use low-impact moves
- Keep it short and simple enough that you can easily make time for it
A Simple Solution
We don't have time to discuss every possible move you can do nor the full kinesiology behind them. While earning my PhD in Applied Physics, I learned an important lesson - value and leverage the expertise of others.
At the end of this, I will list my work out, but first, let's discuss how you can get there on your own.
Step 1 - Pick Up This Book
For women: The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises
This is, hands-down, the most valuable fitness book I have purchased. It contains a ton of information, along with the scientific citations to back it up. I bought both the paperback and the Kindle. The paperback really is nice to be able to flip through, bookmark, etc., and it has amazing battery life. :-)
Note: If you are a friend or family member of mine and the cost is a barrier, please reach out to me and I will buy a copy and send it to you.
Step 2 - Flip to Build a Warmup
(Page 438 of the current version of the book)
Step 3 - Build Your Warmup
It is basically a menu of options. As you make your choices, ponder the full set of exercises and try to make sure you are striking a good balance across all of your muscle groups and joints.
The Warmup I Built
This is a 7-minute routine with 30 seconds on each movement/exercise, doing as many good, controlled repetitions as I can, paying very close attention to my form.
00: Pushup Plus
30: Floor Y Raise
1:00: Thoracic Rotation Side A
1:30: Thoracic Rotation Side B
2:00: Forward-and-Back Leg Swings Side A
2:30: Forward-and-Back Leg Swings Side B
3:00: Side-to-Side Leg Swings Side A
3:30: Side-to-Side Leg Swings Side A
4:00: Hip Raise
5:00: Squat Thrusts
5:30: Low Side-to-Side Lunge (But stay low as you go from side to side)
6:00: Body-Weight Squat
6:30: Lunge with Side Bend
Done! Have fun and be safe!
Would You Like to Know More?
This can be a backup exercise routine: You can either lengthen the time for each motion (say 60 sec) or just repeat multiple cycles of it.
Routinely revisit your form: Especially when you first start out, take a quick peak at the form before or after your work out. I do this after years of doing this work out and even as I pulled together links for you, I saw that I was doing something slightly wrong on one of these motions.
Actively use your muscles: For example, on the leg swings, don't just flop your leg around. When you swing your leg out, pull with your abductor in a smooth, powerful motion to really work the muscles, as opposed to, say a quick kicking motion.
Drink a glass of water when you first wake-up: It will help you get going, your body will appreciate it, and your muscle will work better.