If you’ve got your heart, body and mind set on completing a killer cardio session then you have to warm up properly beforehand.
And the reason is: 75 to 80% of your body is water, and it’s the water in your bloodstream that delivers all those vital nutrients to your muscles, so not getting the heart pumped up can lead to strains. Plus, you’ll avoid those niggling knee and shoulder injuries because completing a good warm-up will lubricate your joints.
So just try out this simple program, which includes four simple movements that will target your hamstrings, glutes and hip flexors. All four are done on the treadmill. But don’t put it on an incline and don’t take the speed above 2mph.
Bodybuilding.com athlete Preston Noble’s four cardio-centric warm-up exercises:
Do one warm-up exercise for 30 seconds and then walk for another 30 seconds before moving on to the next movement. Generally, between five and 10 minutes should be sufficient to get the blood pumping enough.
1. Alternating one-legged hurdle
Simply walk on the treadmill and lift one leg at a time as though you were stepping over a hurdle. This is to warm up the hip flexors.
2. Alternating one-legged butt kick backs
This motion has lots of names you can generally see women doing it on the stair stepper. Basically, all you are doing is kicking your leg back and curling it, which squeezes the glutes.
3. Alternating lunges
This is a really simple one. Just do a lunge as you would on the ground, but this time, of course, the floor is moving under you. Make sure you have the treadmill on a very slow speed.
4. Alternating knee-ups
Simply walk along on the treadmill, as with the three other exercises, and give your abs a good squeeze while lifting up your knee to your chest. This is a great warm-up exercise for your core.
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