Warm Up Your Body

confident fit ethnic woman training with other sportswomen in modern fitness studio

What to Do:

Take 5-10 minutes to complete this quick warm up routine before participating in dance or other aerobic activity. You will loosen your hips, legs, and upper body, preparing your body to move! Release tension, warm your muscles, and improve your balance.

Why Warm Up?

A warm-up prepares the body for physical activity.

The purpose of the warm-up is to increase your heart rate, breathing rate and body tissue temperature. It increases blood flow to muscles, improves flexibility and increases muscle contraction. Decrease your risk of injury while increasing your capacity for energetic movement. A warm-up also increases your mental readiness, preparing you for exercise. 

* NOTE: Please consult your physician before engaging in any physical activity, especially if you are currently experiencing pain, injury or health conditions.

Warm-Up Routine

Neck Stretch

  • Stand and look straight ahead. 
  • Neck Tilt: Tilt your head to one side, moving your ear toward your shoulder. Do not shrug your shoulder. Hold 10 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.
  • Look to Side: Straighten your neck. Look to the side, over your shoulder. Hold 10 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

Alternating Chest and Back Stretch

  • Chest Stretch: Stretch your arms out to sides and feel a stretch across the front of your body. Hold 15 seconds.
  • Back Stretch: Round your back and stretch your arms in front of you, feeling a stretch in your upper back. Hold 15 seconds.
  • Repeat.

Shoulder Rolls

  • Roll Backward: Roll your shoulders backward for 10 repetitions.
  • Roll Forward: Roll your shoulders forward for 10 repetitions.

Arm Circles

  • Hold your arms out to your sides. 
  • Circle Backward: Move your arms backward in small circles, increasing the size of the circles through your full range of motion. 
  • Circle Forward: Reverse the direction of your arms and repeat.

Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Kneel in a lunge position with your front and back legs bent at 90 degree angles.
  • Stretch: Press your hips forward to feel a stretch in the front of your back leg. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Increase the stretch: lift your arm on the same side as your back leg straight overhead. Side bend to opposite side.
  • Repeat, switching legs.

Standing Roll Downs to Relevé

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart, toes pointing forward. 
  • Roll down & stretch: Leading with your head, roll down your body, arms hanging. Place your hands on the ground and squat down, lowering your hips, knees straight forward. Straighten your legs, feeling a stretch in the back of your legs. Keeping your legs straight, roll up. 
  • Balance: Stretch your arms over your head, rise up on your toes and balance in relevé. Hold 5-10 seconds. Slowly lower your heels and your arms. 
  • Repeat.
  • Repeat the sequence with your feet together. Keep your knees together.

Squat and Overhead Reach

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  • Squat: Push your hips back and lower down to a squat position. Keep your chest lifted. Rise to a standing position.
  • Reach: Stretch one arm overhead to the opposite side. Feel a stretch along the side of your body. Lower your arm.
  • Repeat squat. Rise and stretch with the opposite arm.
  • Repeat 10-15x

Grapevine with Overhead Clap

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  • Move to the right: Step to the right with your right foot. Cross your left foot behind the right foot, moving to the right. Step again to the right with the right foot.
  • Move to the left: Step to the left side with the left foot. Cross the right foot behind the left foot, moving to the left. Step again to the left with the left foot.
  • Increase the intensity: While stepping to the side, swing both arms and clap them together overhead.
  • Repeat in both directions.

Three-Point-Turn

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  • Turn to the right: Step to the right side with your right foot. Step your left foot to the right, turning your body in a half turn. Step your right foot out to the right side, turning your body in a half turn.
  • Turn to the left: Step to the left side with your left foot. Step your right foot to the left, turning your body in a half turn. Step your left foot out to the left side, turning your body in a half turn.
  • While turning, hold your arms out to sides.
  • Increase the intensity: Relevé during the turn and keep your arms lifted overhead.
  • Repeat in both directions.

Step Touch and Twist

  • Stand with your feet wider than hip width apart.
  • Twist: Step in place with one foot and twist your torso toward that side, reaching your opposite arm across your body. Feel a twist in your core.
  • Repeat to the other side.
  • Repeat 10-15x.

Move Freely

  • You should feel loose and warm. 
  • Play instrumental music and move your body. Sweep your arms, move your hips, and prepare for worship.

Published by Raezyn

Writer, Dancer, Laugh-er

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