Why you should think twice about skipping your workout warm-up

The Social
Melissa and Lainey have very different approaches to fitness and it starts with their warmup routine – Melissa does one and Lainey skips it. Is there a right way to warm up prior to hitting the gym?

Yes, there is! Mark Hendricks of Equinox Fitness says that skipping a warm-up increases the risk for an injury during your workout. He shared the following exercises that will help you get the best results during your regular workout. 

SPLIT SQUAT WITH FORWARD REACH
Start in a split stance, left foot flat on ground about 2 feet in front of right, hands at sides, right heel lifted. Press left knee forward as you reach arms in front of body to shoulder-height, palms facing, then return to start. Do 8 reps. Switch Sides; repeat.

LUNGE WITH TRUNK ROTATION 
Start standing with feet together, arms at sides. Step right leg back as far as you can and bend left knee 90 degrees, raising arms to shoulder height, elbows bent 90 degrees, palms down. Rotate torso to left (about 45 degrees), and right, then step right foot back to start. Repeat on opposite side for one rep. Do 2 reps.

PLANK WITH FORWARD REACH HIP FLEXION
Start standing, feet hip-width apart, hands at sides. Slowly roll upper body down towards ground, then walk hands out until body is in plank position. Lift right arm straight out in front of body to shoulder-height, thumb pointing up, then lower down and repeat on left arm. Return to plank position and bring right knee to touch right elbow, then left knee to left elbow. Walk hands back toward feet and roll upper body back up to start.

RAPID REACTION WITH HOP
Start with feet wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands in front of body at chest height, elbows bent, palms facing. Do “fast feet” for 5 seconds, (running in place quickly, keeping feet as close to ground as possible), then jump backwards and to the right, landing on right leg, then jump back to start. Do 5 more seconds of fast feet, then repeat jump to left and return to start. 5 more seconds of fast feet, then squat, and propel body forward for one rep. Do 2 reps.

3D FOOT AND ANKLE STRETCH
Stand a few feet away from the wall (you could use a box or step) with right heel propped on top, toes flexed, right knee slightly bent, left toes facing forward and arms extended diagonally in front of you. Keeping spine long and lower body still, hinge forward from hips as far as you can, reaching hands toward right foot. Return to start, and lift arms into goal post position. Shift hips to right as you hinge upper body to left. Come back through center and shift hips to left as you hinge upper body to right. Return to start, and then rotate hips and torso to right, reaching right hand toward toes, keeping chest open and back tall. Rotate through center and to left, reaching left hand toward toes. Return to start. Repeat series 3 to 5 times; switch legs and repeat. 

3D THORACIC SPINE AND SHOULDER STRETCH 
Place right hand on corner of wall at shoulder level and walk forward until you feel a stretch in your pecs. Stand with feet staggered, shoulder-width apart, with left foot forward and right foot back, knees slightly bent, left arm extended by side. Slowly lift left arm overhead as you move hips forward, then lower arm as you move hips back. Turn head to look over right shoulder, and then reach left arm diagonally overhead, toward wall, rotating your torso, as you move hips to left. Lower arm as you move hips to right. Extend left arm out to side at shoulder level, and rotate torso to right, bringing left arm as close to right as possible. Rotate torso to left, opening chest and extending arm out to side. Repeat series 3 to 5 times; switch sides and repeat.
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