Do I need to warm up?
Before intense exercise, whatever intense means to you, it’s a good idea to get your blood flowing before launching straight into it. Increasing your heart rate helps to increase the blood flow to your muscles and loosen up your joints. But it can be boring.
How long do I need to warm up for?
The short answer is: however long it takes for your muscles to get warm. Your warm up exercises need to be done consistently until your heart rate and blood flow has increased enough to make your muscles feel ‘warm’. It sounds weird but we can all feel when it’s happening. You may begin to flush, sweat and generally feel hotter. To put a figure against this, you’re looking at around 10 minutes.
How can I warm up (without getting bored)?
Admittedly, the warm up is probably the most boring part of your workout. But it doesn’t need to be just treadmills and high knees. Warm ups can include any activity that increases your heart rate. Below is a little routine you can do when you’re looking to mix things up.
This routine builds each time you repeat it.
Start with Exercise 1 and do it 5 times.
On your next go add Exercise 2 after 1 and repeat this flow 4 times.
Then add Exercise 3 and do it 3 times.
Add Exercise 4 and do it 2 times.
Finally, do all 5 exercises in one flow.
Walk outs: Start standing. Fold forward to put your hands on the floor and walk them out until you’re in plank position. Walk back in and stand up.
Low lunge: At the plank stage of each walkout, step one foot forward and place it on the outside of the corresponding hand. Return to plank and repeat with the other leg.
Side plank: After your lunge, return to centre plank and turn your whole body to the right, balancing on the side of your left foot, with your right arm extended straight up. Repeat on your left hand side. Return to plank.
Squat and jab: At the top of your walkout, squat and rise. Then extend out your right arm in a jab motion. Squat again and jab with your left.
Lunge and kick: After your squats, lunge back with the right leg. As you return to standing, bring your right forward and kick out with it before returning to standing. Repeat on the left side.