As the chill of winter sets in, it’s more important than ever to adapt your exercise routine to the colder weather. Kaylee, our expert physiotherapist at Nordic Balance, is here to guide you through the essential warm-up exercises to do before your winter workout. With her extensive experience in physiotherapy, Kaylee understands the unique challenges that the cold season brings to your workout regimen. Her insights are invaluable for staying active and injury-free during these colder months.
Winter’s chill shouldn’t be a deterrent to your fitness routine. In fact, it’s an opportunity to invigorate your workouts with the right preparation.
In winter, engaging in a dynamic warm-up routine is crucial to prepare your body for exercise in the cold.
Recommended exercises include a gentle start with a brisk walk or light jog, full-body stretches focusing on the head, neck, arms, and lower back, hip mobility exercises like ‘Open/Close the Gate’ and ‘Grapevine’, lower body activation through walking lunges, bodyweight squats, and calf raises, and cardio build-up with high knees, bottom kicks, and side shuffles.
These exercises are designed to gradually increase your heart rate, enhance blood flow to muscles, and improve flexibility, thereby reducing the risk of injury and ensuring your body is adequately prepared for the workout. Watch Kaylee take you through 3 easy stretches for a winter warm-up below…
A dynamic warm-up is about preparing your body for the specific demands of your workout. It’s a series of movements that increase your heart rate, enhance blood flow, and activate your muscles. This process is especially important in winter when your body needs extra help to get going in the cold.
Here are some Nordic Balance-approved warm-up tips:
Start Slow: Begin with a gentle 10-minute routine. This could be a brisk walk or a light jog, gradually increasing pace. The idea is to slowly elevating your heart rate without straining your cold muscles.
Head and Neck Stretches: Gently rotate your neck, tilt your head side to side, and nod up and down to loosen up.
Arm Circles: Start with small circles, gradually increasing the diameter. Do this both forwards and backwards.
Thoracic Rotations: Place your hands on your hips and rotate your upper body from side to side. This helps to loosen up your spine and prepare your back muscles.
Lower Back Stretches: Gentle forward bends and twists can help awaken your lower back muscles.
Open/Close the Gate: Lift your knee up and rotate it outwards, then reverse the motion. This mimics opening and closing a gate.
Grapevine: Cross one foot over the other as you step side to side, enhancing lateral movement and hip flexibility.
Lower Body Activation
Walking Lunges: Step forward into a lunge, ensuring your knee doesn’t go beyond your toes. This warms up your thighs and glutes.
Bodyweight Squats: Focus on form, keeping your Back straight and knees in line with your toes.
Calf Raises: Stand on your toes and then lower back down. This is great for activating your calf muscles.
High Knees: Jog on the spot, bringing your knees up high.
Bottom Kicks: Try to kick your buttocks with your heels to stretch your quads.
Side Shuffles: Move side to side swiftly, which is great for your agility and lateral movement.
Workout-Specific Movements: If you’re going to run, start with a slow jog. If it’s a strength training day, do light weightlifting or resistance band exercises.
As you embrace your winter workouts, remember that a proper warm-up is your best defence against the cold and injury. By taking these extra steps, you’re preparing for a more effective exercise session and safeguarding your body against the chill.
If you’re looking for more tailored advice or need assistance with any niggles or injuries, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Nordic Balance. Our team, including our physiotherapy team, is here to support your health and fitness journey. Happy workout, and remember, for more expert guidance on injury prevention and management, we are just a call or click away.
For more expert guidance on injury prevention and management, contact Nordic Balance today!
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