Planning to exercise right after work? Crank out this warm-up sequence to get your body ready for action.
When you're trying to squeeze in a post-work sweat sesh, taking a few extra minutes to stretch is probably the last thing on your mind. But skipping this step can be a major disservice to your body! Warming up your muscles is crucial for getting the most out of your workout and preventing injuries.
The absolute best way to prep for exercise? Dynamic stretching, or stretching while moving. Whether you're running home from work or heading to a spin class, jump-start your body with this dynamic warm-up. Repeat the sequence as many times as you like until you feel ready to rock!
Hip stretch with twist
Step out into a lunge position with your left leg and place your right hand down on the inside of your left knee. From here, twist your torso to the left and reach your left arm straight overhead. Hold for 2-3 seconds and then release and repeat on the other side. Alternate until you've completed 4-6 reps per side.
Push up to T
Get into an extended plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and body in a straight line. From here, lower down towards the ground and then press back up to a plank position. Next, twist your body to open up the left side and lift your left arm straight up overhead. Come back to the hand plank position, perform another push up, and then twist your body to open up to the right side, lifting your right arm overhead. Return back to plank position. Complete 4-6 reps per side.
Front kick with hand reach
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides. From here, kick your left leg up, keeping your leg as straight as you can and reach your right arm out as you try to touch your left toe. Release back to the ground and then repeat on the other side. Alternate back and forth until you've completed 6-8 reps per side.
Lunge with torso rotation
Step your left leg out into a lunge position and bring your hands together in front of you. While keeping the lunge position, twist your torso as far to the left as you can. Hold for 2-3 seconds, release, then repeat on the right. Switch off until you've completed 4-6 reps per side.
Reverse lunge with reach
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your side. Step back with your left leg until you are in a lunge position. From here, reach your hands up overhead as high as you can. Bring your hands back down and step your left leg forward to meet your right leg. Repeat on the other side. Alternate until you've completed 4-6 reps.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms out in front of you. From here, step out to the side with your left leg and lean into it, pressing through your left heel. Hold for 2-3 seconds and then step your left leg back to meet your right. Repeat on the other side. Switch until you've completed 6-8 reps per side.
Looking for more articles like this? Check out The 5 Best Stretches to Finish a Workout (And Stop Soreness)
Jennifer Cohen is a leading fitness authority, TV personality, entrepreneur, and best-selling author of the new book, Strong is the New Skinny. With her signature, straight-talking approach to wellness, Jennifer was the featured trainer on The CW’s Shedding for the Wedding, mentoring the contestants to lose hundreds of pounds before their big day, and she appears regularly on NBC’s Today, Extra, The Doctors, and Good Morning America. Connect with Jennifer on Facebook, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest.