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Wondering How to Prep for Your Workout? Try: 5 Warm up Exercises for Beginners

Women's Health UK logo Women's Health UK 20/03/2019 Alice Head
© Getty

Warm up exercises may seem like a bore, but trust us when we say-they could be the difference between a really great and a really bad workout.

How so? Well, in basic terms, warming up is important for stretching your muscles so they don't tear further down the line-not pretty. And, in recent research, warming up has been found essential for raising your body temperature, increasing your baseline VO2 (aka how much oxygen you can intake) and activating your muscles.

Whilst warming up for all exercise is important, it follows that different moves are better suited to different workouts. Dynamic stretches are great for weight lifting and CrossFit, as they prepare your body for eccentric movements, and the below, whilst great for any sweat sessions, are best to whip out pre-run.

Why? In short, they fire up your glutes, get your blood pumping and push your heart rate up in as little as two and a half minutes-essential for pre 5km, 10km, half marathon or, well, any distance.

Do each for 30 seconds and reap the rewards of easily upping your distances, injury free. You're welcome.

Watch: Pushup | Form Check [Men's Health]

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5 warm up exercises for beginners

1. Y Stretch

a. Stand in a squat position, ensuring your toes do not go over your knees.

b. Holding your arms in front of your thighs, with your fists clenched, raise your arms above your shoulders so you are stood in a Y shape. Contract your shoulder blades and feel the stretch.

Man warming up in the gym © Getty Man warming up in the gym

2. Ankle rotations

a. Standing firmly planted through one ankle, bring your other knee up towards your chest, holding with both hands.

b. Making sure you are balanced, begin to rotate your raised ankle left for ten counts, and right for ten counts. Repeat - and brace your core.

3. Walking hamstrings

a. Starting from a standing position with your arms by your sides, place one foot in front of you with your heel touching the floor and your toes pointed towards the ceiling.

b. Lowering your arms and chest down towards your ankle, sweep upwards, keeping your arms straight out and your palms facing inwards, until your arms are facing straight up in the air. Repeat on the other side and feel the stretch in the back of your hamstrings.

Protrait of a fit and healthy fitness trainer at his gym. © Getty Protrait of a fit and healthy fitness trainer at his gym.

4. Butt kicks

a. Simple as they sound. Starting from a standing position, place the backs of your hands on your glutes, palms facing upwards.

b. Kick your heels gently into your hands, one after the other. Hop to it.

5. Strides

a. Starting from a standing position, begin running-but with wider, more exaggerated strides for every move.

b. Focus on bracing your core and glutes. Repeat.

Gallery: 15 fitness 'tips' that are doing more harm than good [Business Insider]

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