Step One: Cardio
Take 3-5 minutes to warm up your core temperature and loosen up your muscles doing some cardio. This cardio could be jogging, rowing, stair climbing, or sled drags. The most important thing is to get the blood flowing to the muscles.
Step Two: Muscle Activation
Muscle activation exercises can be done for just 2-4 minutes can be effective. Be especially careful about your shoulders, knees, and lower back. These can be done with simple resistance bands. They are usually small isolation exercises done on a specific muscle group.
Types of muscle activation exercises include glutes, rotator cuffs, chest, lats, and abs.
- Glute example: banded glute walks, banded fire hydrants
- Rotator cuff example: banded internal and external rotations
- Chest example: chest fly machine with light weight
- Lat example: cable straight arm pulldowns with light weight
Step Three: Active & Dynamic Stretching
Spending 2-4 minutes on active stretching can help engage muscles. The difference between typical static stretching and dynamic stretching is dynamic is always active and moving while static stretching is held for a moment. Stretching can help warm up muscles, decrease stiffness, improve flexibility, increase range of motion, and help prevent injury.
Options for dynamic stretching include:
- Side Lunge
- Modified Single Leg Deadlift
- Straight Leg Lateral Swing
- Bent Leg Lateral Swing
- Bent Knee Forward Swing
- Calf Raises
- Arm Circles
- Shoulder Rolls
- Arm Criss Cross
- Calf Raises