5 Stretches That Will Warm You Up for Any Workout
90/90 Stretch – This exercise will stretch your torso and back muscles, which is especially important for rotational sports. Lie on your left side with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Place a rolled towel between your knees and extend your arms straight out from your chest. Then, keeping your knees together and your hips still, rotate your chest and right arm backward, trying to touch your shoulder blades to the ground. Exhale and hold for two seconds, then return to the starting position. Do 10 reps on each side.
Hip Crossover – Lie face up with your knees bent, your feet on the floor, and your arms extended out to your sides. Rotate your bent legs to the left until your left knee touches the floor, then rotate to the right. Do 10 reps on each side. You should feel a lengthening and stretching of the torso. This exercise is designed to build mobility and strength in your torso by disassociating the hips and shoulders, and is perfect for preparing you for arduous one-move total-body workouts.
Hand Walk – Stand with your legs straight and your hands flat on the floor. Draw in your belly button and walk out a few paces with your hands. Then, keeping your legs straight and your hands in place, take a few steps forward with your feet (flex your ankles, not your knees). Continue this caterpillar-like movement for one minute. This stretches the hamstrings, lower back, glutes, and calves. It’s a great exercise prior to just about any sport.
Forward Lunge, Forearm to Instep – Take a large step forward with your left leg, as if doing a lunge. Place your right hand on the floor, even with your left foot, and move your left elbow down toward your left instep while keeping your right knee off the ground. Move your left hand outside your left foot and push your hips up to the sky. Finally, step forward into the next lunge with your right foot. Do 10 lunges per leg..
Pillar Marching – You should feel this total-body stretch everywhere. It’s perfect for preparing for the demands of running. Begin with your back straight and your arms by your sides. March forward, alternately lifting each knee to waist height while pumping your arms like a drum major. March forward 20 steps for one set. Rest one minute; repeat the cycle twice.