Exercise is a vital component to a healthy balanced life. Without it, people can be more prone to developing diseases that can impact their lives in a negative way. Some of the health benefits that exercise can give are reducing or maintaining a healthy body weight, reducing stress, blood pressure, anxiety and controlling blood sugar. However, some people develop pain when they try and exercise, which can reduce their motivation to participate in an exercise regimen. One of the easiest ways to implement exercise in your routine is by participating in a daily walk or run.
However, some people can develop hip, knee or ankle pain during a walk or run. Warmups and cool downs are something that are very important to do before any exercise regimen. A warm up can significantly reduce a person’s symptoms during exercise and a cool down can minimize post-workout soreness.
In this newsletter I am going to go over a warm up routine that will help get the lower body muscles ready for activity.
Lower Body Warm Up
1) Complete each stretch on both legs.
2) Complete 2 sets for 10-15 seconds
1. Hip Flexor Stretch:
Kneel on one knee creating a 90° angle with the opposite hip and use a chair for support. Tilt your pelvis backwards to flatten your lower back and transfer your weight forward until you feel a gentle stretch on the anterior aspect of your hip of the lower leg. Maintain the position and relax. Maintain your upper body upright and your lower back flat (not arched).
2. Quad Stretch:
Start in a half-kneeling position with the leg to be stretched behind you. Lean forward from the hips making sure not to let your lower back arch. Pull your ankle towards your buttock until you feel a gentle stretch in the front of your thigh. Hold this position for the prescribed time. Kneel on a soft surface and do not do this stretch if there is pain or too much pressure on the knee cap.
3. Single Leg Swings Flexion/Extension
Stand on one foot and hold on to a stable object (wall, chair or table). Keeping your body as stable as possible, swing the elevated leg forward and backwards without bending the knee.
5) Frog Stretch:
Start on all fours with your knees spread apart and your feet turned outward. Slowly move your hips backward—15-30″—to feel a stretch in the hips, keeping your back flat. It’s important that the movement remains pain-free (do not cause pain). Move forward to release the stretch.
6) Hamstring Stretch:
While standing, place one foot on a small step/stool. Keeping your back straight, press your bottom backwards while bending forwards at the hips.
7) Calf Stretch:
Stand and place one foot against the wall. Place the other leg behind with your heel on the ground, foot parallel to the front one and knee straight. Keep the torso upright and push the hips forward to feel a stretch in the calf.
This warm up can really help improve mobility and get your muscles ready for activity! Hope this will help!