Warm up before physical workout
Regular pranayama to stay fit and healthy

Warm up for physical workouts.
How to do warm up?

How to do warm up

Introduction

We are going to introduce you to many aerobic, stretching, balancing and strengthening exercises in this website, which are essential for a flexible, well toned and fit body. So having a regular physical workout is essential if you want a fit and strong body and even if you do not want to take up rigorous workouts, you should at least do certain Aerobic exercises on a regular basis like swimming, skipping, climbing stairs, jogging or at the very least walking. 

Coming to physical workouts, it is very important that you do a proper warm up first. Some people do not consider warm ups that relevant and they directly indulge in high intensity workouts or gym exercises. But this is dangerous and can lead to unnecessary injuries. A good warm up makes you feel light and prepares your body for a physical workout.

Why to do warm up

  • Warm up lightens the stiffness in your joints and muscles and prepares them for the workout.
  • It increases the blood circulation and heart rate so that there is no sudden jerk of pressure on your heart and lungs when you proceed to do your workout.
  • Warm up also refreshes your mind and after warm up people usually are more willing to do rest of their workout.
  • Warm-up warms your muscles so that they can contract and relax easily and this prevents unwanted injuies during stretching and strengthening exercises.

Warm up exercises great for people working on computers

Now a days, many of us have to work on computers for extended periods of time and this exposes us to numerous health issues, ranging from back pain to ankle pains, muscle strains and Carpal tunnel syndrome. So it is evident that our desk job does a lot of health damage and exercises can help to a large extent in fixing these damages. 

 

All the warm up exercises have proven benefits for computer workers and if not more, at least they should do the warm up every morning or evening, of course along with Pranayama and meditation. Considering the growing number of computer related health issues, we will have a separate article on “Stay fit with computer jobs”.

Warm up exercises - How to do warrm up exercises

Having learned about the importance of warming up, now let us proceed to the exercises we need to do to warm up our body. Remember to keep it light and if we engage too much in warming up then we might feel exhausted to do the rest of our physical workout. It’s a great way to start the warm up of our body by running or jogging, you can also do spot running or spot jogging. Then you can do jumping jacks followed by other exercises given below for head to toe, it’s good to follow the same order.

 

1. Running/Jogging

Running is an excellent aerobic exercise and also excellent for warm up, it gives movement to your entire body and prepares it for the whole workout. So running or spot running is a good way to start your warm up process, if you are more comfortable with Jogging, then that is also fine. If you want to know more about running or jogging, their benefits and precautions, we have written in detail about them in the Aerobic exercises page.

 

Difficulty level – Low

 

How much to do

For the sake of warm-up, it is enough to run/jog for 2-3 minutes and proceed to the next exercise.

 

2. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks is a powerful aerobic cardio exercise and yet a simple breezy one to do. Remember the good old school days when we used to do jumping jacks but after we grew up we have now deeply engrossed ourselves into computers and tablets. 

 

When we could do jumping jacks in our school days, why now now? Jumping jacks is a great warm up exercise and quickly refreshes and rejuvenates our entire body.

 

Difficulty level – Low

 

How to do

1. Stand straight with your feet together, arms by your side and back straight.

 

2. Take a jump to land with your feet apart and your hands
above your head, you can even clap your hands.

 

3. Take another jump and bring your feet back together and lower
your arms to your sides.

 

4. Jumping apart and back is one repetition.

 

How much to do

For the sake of warm up you can do 2 sets of jumping jacks with 15 reps in each set and proceed to the next exercise. Take rest of 1 to 2 minutes between the sets.

Jumping jacks - Instructions to follow and benefits

Please follow all the instructions given in the main page of “Exercise” and these additional instructions.

1. Jumping jacks is a great aerobic cardio exercise to strengthen your heart, lungs and cardiac muscles. So you can increase the number of repetitions in each set to 25 and do 3 sets, if you are not intending to do more exercises in your workout.

2. Remember to take 2 days of rest in a week.

3. Besides being a great body warm up exercise, jumping jacks is a great cardio workout in itself. So even if you dont have plans to do a high intensity workout or go to gym, you should do jumping jacks on a regular basis, It’s not hard to do and it’s fun too.

 

1. There is quite a similarity between running and jumping jacks and so like running, jumping jacks also strengthens and tones your leg muscles.

2. Jumping jack reminds you of your school days and hence has a refreshing and rejuvenating effect on your mind.

3. Jumping jack is a good alternative to walking miles on a treadmill.

4. Jumping jacks helps to reduce weight, makes your heart and lung muscles healthy. It helps to increase the good cholesterol and reduce the bad one.

1. Jumping jacks are pretty safe but still puts some pressure on your knees and so if you have any injuries or if you have arthritis, you should first check with your doctor.

 

2. Normally during pregnancy jumping and jumping jacks should be avoided. 

 

3. Jumping jacks should be avoided after a surgery for 3 days to 1 month. So if you underwent a surgery you should take advice from your doctor.

3. Head exercise

In all these head exercises remember to move your head slowly and steadily, avoid fast movements of your head or you may over strain your neck muscles. There are 3 exercises for your head.

1. Head turns

1. Stand straight in a neutral position with your head facing the front and feet slightly apart.. Turn your head to the left and look left.

2. Smoothly turn your head to your right and look right.

3. This is one repetition, repeat 5 times and proceed to the below exercise.

Head tilt

1. Stand straight in a neutral position with your head facing the front and feet slightly apart. Tilt your head towards your left shoulder as much as you can without any strain.

2. Now smoothly raise your head and tilt it towards your right shoulder.

3. This is one repetition, repeat 5 times and proceed to the below exercise

Head up and down

1. Remaining in the standing position drop your head down so that your chin touches your chest. Do not stress your neck muscle, move your head down as much as you are comfortable to do, you need not actually touch your chin to your chest.

2. Smoothly raise your head to look towards the ceiling.

3. This is one repetition, repeat 5 times and proceed to the below exercise.

4. Arm circles

1. Remaining in the standing position, stretch your arms out on your sides.

2. Rotate your arms to make 10 medium sized circles clockwise.

3. Similarly make 10 circles anticlockwise, take 1 to 2 minutes rest and proceed to the below exercise.

5. Elbow in and outs

1. Stand in same neutral position with your head facing the front and feet slightly apart. Now bring your fingers together so that the tips of all your forefingers are near to the tip of your thumb, may or may not touch the thumb as you feel comfortable. 

2. Now place your fingers on your shoulders with your elbows pointing out and at shoulder level.

3. Now make small circles with your elbows.

4. Make 10 circles clockwise and 10 anti clockwise. Take about a minute rest and proceed to the below exercise. 

6. Standing twists

1. Standing in the neutral position with your head facing the front and feet slightly apart. Clench your fists.

2. Now raise both your arms and bring both your fists together so that they touch each other, against each other. Your elbows are pointing out and your fists touch each other in front of you, your fists and elbow are at about shoulder level. 

3. Applying some force with your right fist on your left fist, rotate your torso and head to your left as much as you can without strain. Now put some force with your left fist on your right fist, rotate your torso and head to your right as much as you can. In a similar manner come back to your left. Your pelvis remains more or less stable.

4. Moving from your left to your right and then back to your left is one repetition. Do 10 repetitions and move to the next exercise.

7. Side bends

1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart or slightly more as you are comfortable with, place your hands on your hips.

2. Interlock the fingers of both your hands and stretch your arms out above your head. Your hands are above your head and your palm facing the ceiling. 

3. Looking straight, bend to your left, notice as you bend your waist is pushed out to the right. Similarly bend to your right.

4. This is one repetition, repeat 5 times and proceed to the below exercise.

8. Hip Circles

This is a great warm up exercise and can relieve us from back pain problems to much extent. It strengthens our leg muscles and tones our waist.

1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart or slightly more as you are comfortable with, place your hands on your hips.

2. Rotate your hips in circles, your feet remains more or less stable.

3. Make 10 circles clockwise and 10 anti clockwise. Take about 1-2 minutes rest and proceed to the below exercise.

9. Hand, wrist and finger exercises

These are excellent exercises for those who work a lot on computers and best prevention for Carpal tunnel syndrome. All the warm up exercises are very good for computer workers but these exercises mainly relieve our fingers and wrist, that we use for typing and other computer works. I am giving these 3 exercises which you must do in warm up and do whenever your hands or fingers feel tired after typing a lot or doing a lot of keyboard work. You can do these exercises while sitting also but standing posture is more recommended.

Clench and release

1. Stand straight in a neutral position with your head facing the front and feet slightly apart.

2. Stretch out your arms in front of you with your palm facing down

3. Make a fist with both hands and hold it for 2 secs. Now release your fist and open your fingers widely spread, hold this again for 2 secs.

4. This making a fist and releasing the fingers is one repetition, repeat 10 times and proceed to the below exercise. If you do computer related job, you should do 2 sets of 10 repetitions in each set. 

Wrist up down

1. Stand straight in a neutral position with your head facing the front and feet slightly apart.

2. Stretch out your arms in front of you with your palm facing down.

3. Without moving your arms, raise both your wrists so that your fingers point upwards. Now slowly and steadily lower your waists so that your fingers point downwards.

4. This raising and lowering of wrist is one repetition, repeat 10 times and proceed to the below exercise. 

Wrist rotation

1. Stand straight in a neutral position with your head facing the front and feet slightly apart.

2. Stretch out your arms in front of you with your palm facing down.

3. Rotate your wrists so that your hand moves in circles.

4. Make 10 such circles clockwise and then make 10 circles anticlockwise  and proceed to the below exercise. If you do computer related job, you should do 2 sets of 10 repetitions same number of rotations anticlockwise. 

10. Standing alternate toe touches

This exercise is quite simple to do and a great warm up. It strengthens our mind muscle connection and improves our overall flexibility.

Difficulty level : Low

How to do

1. Stand straight with your head facing the front and feet slightly more than shoulder width apart. stretch your arms out on your sides.

2. Keeping your legs straight, bend  down and touch your left hand to your right toes. If you cannot touch, go as far as you can soon you will be able to touch your toes. Notice that your right arm rises above as your left hand goes down to touch your right toes. 

3. Come up to the starting position and then similarly touch your left toes with your right hand. 

4. This is one repetition.

How much to do

You should do 2 sets with 10 reps in each set. Take 1 min rest between the sets and 2 mins rest after the 2nd set and proceed to yourr workout exercises

Please follow all the instructions given in the main page of “Exercise” and also these additional instructions.

1. Throughout the exercise keep your legs and back as straight as possible.

2. Do the exercise slowly and steadily, avoid jerky moves while bending down or rising up.

3. If you are not able to reach your toes on the very first days of doing the exercise, do not over stress yourself. Go as far as you can and certainly you will eventually touch your toes.

1. This exercise is also great for warm up and it warms up your muscles and eases them so that you can smoothly proceed to further exercises in your workout. This exercises is specially must if you are intending to perform , burpees, handstands, headstands or flips in your workout.

2. Strengthens your ab muscles and your knee joints.

3. Helps to improve your flexibility.

    1. Alternate toe touches are pretty safe but if you have severe arthritis problem, you should first check with your doctor.

    2. Normally during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy alternate toe touches should be avoided. However in the 1st trimester, this exercise can be done but slowly and smoothly.

    3. Should be avoided after a surgery for 3 days to 1 month. So if you underwent a surgery you should take advice from your doctor.

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