Warm-Ups for Every Workout: Six Moves You Need to Succeed

When you say you don’t have the time, energy or inclination to take care of your wellness, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you really want to make a positive impact on your fitness and overall sense of wellbeing, you need to have a positive attitude, and take the time to do the things that matter. Even if you do manage to find time for fitness, the chances are that you don’t give your body the warm-up it needs to work at its full potential and prevent serious injuries. Luckily, we’ve got a warm-up plan designed by Men’s Health adviser Alwyn Cosgrove, C.S.C.S. which is over in minutes and gives your body everything it needs to succeed during your workout – who doesn’t have time for that? You should complete the exercises below in the order they are given, before you move on to your regular workout.


1. Lateral Slide: To begin this exercise, you need to stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart. Cosgrove details, ‘Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body until your hips are just slightly higher than your knees. Shuffle to your left by taking a big step to your left with your right foot, then following with your left foot and then one with your left foot. Slide about 10 feet, then slide back to your right. Each time you reverse directions counts as one rep. Do a total of 20 reps.’


2. Walking Knee Hugs: Cosgrove instructs, ‘Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Step forward with your right leg, bend your knee and lean forward slightly at your hips. Lift your left knee toward your chest, grasping it with both hands just below your knee cap. Then pull it as close to the middle of your chest as you can, while you stand up tall. That’s one rep.’ After this, you need to release your leg, take three steps forwards, raise your right knee and repeat. Continue to alternate back and forth.


3. Split Jacks: ‘Stand in a staggered stance, your right foot in front of your left,’ says Cosgrove. ‘Simultaneously jump back with your right foot and forward with your left as you swing your right arm forward and above your shoulder and swing your left arm back. Continue to quickly switch legs back and forth as you raise and lower your arms. Each time you switch legs counts as one rep.’ You should perform 20 reps of this exercise.


4. Prisoner Squat: For this move, you should perform 10 reps. Cosgrove instructs, ‘Stand with your hands behind your head, chest out, and elbows back. Keeping your torso as upright as possible, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as deep as you can. Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep.’


5. Inchworm: Cosgrove outlines, ‘Stand tall with your legs straight and bend over and touch the floor. Keeping your legs straight, walk your hands forward. Then take tiny steps to walk your feet back toward your hands.’


6. Reverse Lunge With Reach Back: ‘Stand tall with your arms hanging at your sides,’ Cosgrove notes. ‘Lunge back with your right leg, lowering your body until your left knee is bent at least 90 degrees. As you lunge, reach back over your shoulders and to the left. Reverse the movement back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete all your reps, then switch legs and reach over your right shoulder for the same number of reps. Do 10 reps for each side.’

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