As you probably know by now, I’m a true blue runner that loves “Running Like The Wind”. Along with my friend/trainer Nicki, Tuesdays and Thursday are our days of either beach or road runs. It’s our way to get in a great cardio workout, but at the same time do a bit of Girl Talk along the way. But whether you’re setting out for a a run or getting ready for any exercise, you can benefit from a dynamic (active) warmup, which raises your heart rate slightly and prepares your body for what’s on the menu that day. A dynamic warmup is excellent as it makes the transition from whatever you were doing before your workout to your workout a gentle one. Another term for it is “movement preparation,” That’s what Nicki says, and whatever Nicki says, I do. “It gets your body ready from sitting in your car to moving vigorously on the beach.” Dynamic moves also help your body release synovial fluid, a viscous liquid that is “like WD40 for your joints,” Humm ok…Here’s three moves that Nicki includes in our warmups to get us ready to smack a great run. It should take about seven to 10 minutes to complete, and it’s worth the time. For me, it just feels good.
Loosen hamstrings and tight hips with this effective move, which prepares your body to do more vigorous things like running. If you’ve been sitting at your desk all day long, it’s really good to take some time to stretch your hamstrings and get your hips ready. For me this move is like yawning, it just feels oh so good!
Stand somewhere where you have enough room to walk. Step forward with your right leg, and as you do, lean over and slide both hands down your right leg until you reach your feet or the ground. You should feel a stretch in your hamstring. Raise your torso back up to standing position; then step forward again, this time with your left leg. Slide both hands down your left leg until they reach your feet or the ground. Raise back up to standing. Now, that should feel really great in the old hams! Repeat 15 times per leg.
Toy Soldier With Butt Kick
Now this exercise is designed to wake up both the hamstrings and quads. For those of us who have tight hamstrings, grab a towel to assist in this stretch. Stand somewhere where you have enough room to walk. Swing your left leg out in front of you, chest high or as high as you can go. Keeping your back straight, reach out with your right hand and try to touch your toes.
Lower your left leg down a little bit in front of you. As you step forward, swing your right leg up to repeat the movements on your right side (using your left hand to touch your toes and grab your foot). Now, swing your left leg down and back into a butt kick. Grab onto your left foot with your left hand once it’s behind you (as shown). Now lower your left leg down. Now, swing your right leg down and back into a butt kick. Grab onto your right foot with your right hand once it’s behind you. Now lower your right leg down. Repeat 15 times per leg.
The walking lunge does it all, so make it part of your regular workout routine. You get a lot of bang for your buck on this one. For me, it’s a love/hate relationship but every “Fitnessnista” needs to do it. It’s a dynamic stretch, so as you’re lunging, you’re preparing your body for movement, but you’re also lunging your body weight up and down, so it’s also resistance training. It’s also helping strengthen muscles around your joints. And it’s a great way for women to tone the butt — to get that kind of shelf butt most of us are looking for.
Stand upright, feet together, in an area where you have room to walk. Take a controlled step forward with your right leg. Lower hips towards the floor, and bend both knees (almost at 90-degree angles). The back knee should come close but never touch the ground. Your front knee should be directly over the ankle, and the back knee should be pointing down toward the floor. Stand up and take a controlled step forward with your left leg. Lower hips toward the floor, and bend both knees (almost at 90-degree angles). The back knee should come close but never touch the ground. Your front knee should be directly over the ankle, and the back knee should be pointing down towards the floor. Always remember to keep the weight on your heel and curl up your toes; this helps tone your backside even more.
Continue for one to five minutes, depending on your level (one minute for a beginner, two minutes for a intermediate, five minutes if you’re advanced). This is not for sissies, but hey, we’re not sissies now are we?
Turn It On and Look Fab!