If you played a game of tennis or soccer or trained at New Image, you would warm up to prepare your body for exercise and avoid injury. Yet most of us neglect to prepare our bodies to perform everyday movement.
Clients often report to their sessions at New Image with achey backs, elbows, ankles, necks and wrists. The aches and pains can range from a little niggle that makes some exercises uncomfortable to a full blown injury.
And how are they busting themselves up?
Not from a big workout, but from everyday activities like gardening, a round of golf or babysitting grandchildren. All these pursuits require movements, force and sustained positions that put strain on the body.
So how can we avoid these injuries? The solution is not to back away from challenging activities altogether, as many people conclude. Instead, you need to prepare your body for your gardening session or an afternoon chasing little kids just as you would more formal exercise: with a proper warm-up.
Let’s change our mindset around daily activities. Part of building your best body in the gym is so that you can thrive and get the most our of these everyday activities that bring you joy. We want you to fully participate in your life!
Here’s a five minute warm up and preparation program to use for any activity or even inactivity, such as prolonged sitting at a desk.
Any time you ask your body to perform a repetitive movement or hold a certain position, prepare properly or you’re asking for injuries.
Standing roll down
Stand with your feet firmly placed on the ground at hip width. Bend your knees slightly, relax your shoulders and allow your arms to hang with your elbows pointed backwards, palms facing inwards. Breathe in through your nose, as you breathe out through your mouth slowly, peel your spine, vertebrae by vertebrae away from an imaginary wall, allowing yourself to roll down towards your toes where you let your head and to arms hang (palms still facing each other). Breathe in through your nose again and slowly reprint your vertebrae back up against the imaginary spine wall (bottom – top) as you return to an upright standing position. Repeat two more times.
Squat reach + hip tilts
Complete ten slow squats and reach out in front as though you are picking something up. Concentrate on pinpointing any tight areas or limitations and take note. Stand with your hands on a table or against a wall, spread your legs apart as far as possible and push your hips backwards so your backside is pushing away from your hands. Keeping your shoulders still, slowly tilt your hips side to side allowing you glutes (butt), hamstrings (back of your leg) and adductors to stretch. Complete ten squat reaches again and compare your range of movement and function to the initial set.
Lying hip abduction
Lay on your side with your knee joints at 90 degrees (as you look over your hip, your feet should be in line with your spine). Slowly raise your outside foot a little higher than the knee joint. Raise or lift the outside leg into the air imagining your knee is lading up and down a pole to maintain a proper line. Slowly lower the leg. Complete 20 repetitions each side.
Lay on your side with your knee joints at 90 degrees (as you look over your hip, your feet should be in line with your spine). Slowly raise both ankles from the ground and keep them together. While the ankle joints are kept together, slowly raise the outer knee (leg) into the air and return to the other knee slowly. Complete 20 reps each side.
For an advanced version of this warm up routine, visit us at New Image. Our trainers will help you nail the technique to perform activity specific prep routines anytime, in any space.