The REAL Way to Warm Up

Most of us know we’re supposed to warm up before exercising to get our bodies ready for activity and avoid injury. But, what should we do? We did some research and have compiled a list of our top tips for warming up.

Don’t stretch! Stretching a “cold” body is a common mistake that does way more harm than good. Save your static stretching for the end of your workout when your muscles are ready for it.

Walk it out. Sounds too easy to be effective, but walking is one of the best warm up activities you can do. It’s low impact, eases your body into movement, and can be done on your way to the gym! 

Incorporate dynamic mobility. Similar to flexibility, this concept refers to the ability to move fluidly in multiple directions. When you’re warming up, movements like arm circles, leg swings, lunges, and head rotations get your body ready for working out.

Focus on your core. Ever wonder how serious dancers, like the Rockettes, warm up? In addition to what we’ve described above, they make time for core strengthening moves like the Pilates hundred. A strong core makes any exercise easier by improving stability and preventing back injuries.

Start dancing (slowly). If you’re getting ready to seriously shake it, throw on some oldies or a slow Bachata and do some light dancing before you really put your back into it. You’ll be ready to get down after a few fun minutes.

Jennifer Lauren

Jennifer Lauren is a Zumba® instructor from New York. She blogs about teaching Zumba® classes and all things fitness at www.TheZBeat.com.

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