Pre workout stretches are a MUST before you start with any workout routine. It is not a waste of time, as I have heard some people say. They walk in a gym, start with a push up or two, and directly hit the machines and heavy weights. They cannot even imagine what would go wrong with their muscles in a year or two.
The pre workout stretches that I am sharing with you (this is what I generally do) are basically active isolated stretches for each muscle group. With controlled movements, the stretches warm up your total body and invigorates you to start with cardio, weights or machines.
Want to know more why stretches are necessary? Read here.
If you look up the Net, you will find there are hundreds of pre workout stretches. It is really confusing, particularly to someone who is new or who is looking for videos to learn some warm up stretches.
Given below are 8 pre workout stretches for you that I find are easy and effective warm up. The time required for the whole stretch set would be 7.40 minutes—say, a max of 8 minutes. Use a stop watch to find out how much time you would take for this warm up workout.
Remember that while stretching, do not try to complete it in a hurry. It is all muscle game and you would not want to tear your muscles, right?
You will start with 5-minute treadmill walk or 5-minute standing jog. Thereafter, start with the stretches, one after the other. Time for each stretch should be 30 sec. If you do workouts at home, then do standing jog.
As I would say in my other articles, the same applies here—if you don’t get the form right, or you cannot understand how to do a particular stretch, please ask your trainer. He or she would love to guide you. For people doing workouts at home, refer the Net and watch a video or two of that stretch.
Pre Workout Stretches #1: Neck Stretch
Study the image. See how she is holding her head to turn it to one side so that the neck gets stretched.
Pre Workout Stretches #2: Chest Stretch
Stand with feet open shoulder-width. Stretch your arms in front—shoulder length—in such a way that your fingers just about touch. Now, open the arms and take them on your sides. Return to the front stretch position. This stretch resembles bench flyes or pec deck.
Pre Workout Stretches #3: Cross Over Arm Stretch
The image is self-explanatory and I am sure you do this shoulder stretch as warm up.
Pre Workout Stretches #4: Tricep (and Bicep) Stretch
This stretch is again an easy one. Make sure your form and posture is correct while doing this. Some people bend over on one side too much. Remember this is not an oblique stretch.
Pre Workout Stretches #5: Quads Stretch
If you have knee problem, stretch your quads in an easy manner. Do not force up the lower leg. It will hurt your knee more. If you lose balance, there is nothing to worry. Put your palm on a wall for support.
Pre Workout Stretches #6: Hams Stretch
For this stretch also, do not try to touch your toe forcibly when you feel your hams pull. Take it easy and stretch as much as you can. If you lose balance, there is nothing to worry. Put your palm on a wall for support.
Pre Workout Stretches #7: Leg Swing Stretch
For leg swing stretch, take support of a wall and swing a single leg front and back. When you swing your leg to the back, if your knee bends, no problem.
Pre Workout Stretches #8: Arms Roll Stretch
For this stretch, open your arms on two sides, and do full rotation clockwise. After about 10 rep, do full rotation anticlockwise. If you don’t want to rotate both arms together, then rotate right arm clockwise and anticlockwise. Same with your left arm.
You are done! Drink water and get ready for your daily workout routine.
What do you think of the 8 pre workout stretches? Are these warm up stretches too difficult to do? No, these are easy and effective warm up to do. Try the stretches; you would love it. Look out for easy and effective 6 post workout stretches that are very important to complete any workout routine.