I know that warm ups are tempting to skip, I can see that. I can even see that they might seem like an easy 4-10 minutes to cut off the beginning of your workout - every minute counts when living a busy life, right? Especially since training types that are challenging or more results-focused (like lifting or HIIT) don't happen during a warm up. So I just won't do the warm up; I’ll just move on to the more important, more intense, and effective part of the workout, right? That’s saving time, isn't it?
Except, when you pull, strain, or overwork something. Then you might regret not taking the time to warm up. Maybe something doesn't feel quite right for a day or two, or five days; and then a couple of weeks later, when you haven’t given that “super minor" injury or tweak enough time to heal, now all of the sudden we have a “real” injury that needs time, space, and rest to heal. This can require weeks or months of careful, modified activity. I hope that it doesn’t sound like I’m judging you, because I’m not - I’ve just personally made this mistake before, and think it’s one that we should avoid. Skipping a warm up can ultimately require much more time and patience, than just committing to properly warming up before you push yourself through intense activity.
Long story short, respect your body. Give injury or strain a wide berth to heal. Don’t skip the warm up, or the cool down. These shortcuts are not actual shortcuts, and could end up costing us more (time, energy, effort, patience) in the long run.
So, now that you've recommitted yourselves to warming up properly, think about this - your warm up should look a lot like the workout that will follow. Warm up exercises should be slow, low impact, unloaded versions of the exercises that you will ultimately do quickly, ballistically, and possibly with extra weight or resistance. This warm up incorporates both upper and lower body movements, and could be a suitable warm up for strength, cardio, or HIIT workouts. Feel free to make each of the exercise intervals work for you, whether that means slowing or quickening the pace, the depth of any ranges of motion, or whether or not an exercise is low impact.
Total Body Warm Up Workout - 30 Seconds Each Interval
Jog in Place
3 Twists + Push Through
High Knee March + Curl
Step Back + Tricep Kickback
High Knee Taps + Butt Kick Taps
Slow Walkdown Freestyle Stretch
Push Up + Reach
Toe Touch Drops
The thing I love about our warm ups is that they can also be used all throughout the day, not just before a HIIT or strength workout. Our brains and bodies work best when treated to short breaks throughout the day - chances to get out of the chair and take our mind out of endless meetings and eyes away from the laptop, cell, or television screens. A quick little mental break, particularly when paired with a short bout of light activity, can help boost creativity, mood, and productivity - not even considering all of the many health benefits provided by that additional movement where one would otherwise be very sedentary.
I hope you enjoy this new warm up. Let me know what you would like to see next!