Warm up like an inchworm to prevent injury

Even if you don’t have time, you must make time to warm up sufficiently before working out or exercising. You increase chances of a successful workout while decreasing chances of injury if you thoroughly warm-up your entire body first.

Previously we began a series on dynamic warm-ups, with a beginner warm up and an intermediate warm up. Today, Tema from Potentia Personal Training is going to teach you an advanced dynamic warm-up called the inchworm; also known as a “walk out.”

The “inchworm” is an amazing dynamic warm-up to do before exercising. It gets the blood flowing, the body warmed, stretches the hamstrings and calves, tones the core and gets cardio revving and ready to go!

Warm up: Three reps forward

Simply stand upright with your feet shoulders-width apart. Slowly bend at your waist and reach down toward the ground, trying as best you can to touch your toes or the floor.

This first part really stretches the hamstrings, those muscles on the back side of your legs. The straighter you can keep your legs while bending over, the deeper the stretch.

Once your hands touch the floor you want to walk them out forward, ending in the plank position. For this position you want your hand directly under your shoulders and a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold the plank for about 3 seconds to really tone your core.

From the plank you will now walk your feet toward your hands, piking your body at the waist. If you can keep your heel flat on the ground while doing this, you will get a nice calf stretch.

Now walk your hands back out again, for the second repetition, and hold the plank again for a count of three. Then walk your feet up to your hands.

Walk your hands out in front again, for the third repetition, and hold the plank for three seconds. You’ve completed three reps forward and now it’s time to reverse the sequence.

Warm up: Three reps backward

From the plank position, you will now walk your hands backward to your feet, keeping your heels flat on the floor if you can.

Now take a big step back with each leg to get into the plank position, which you will hold for three seconds. Repeat for a total of three backward inchworms.

When three reps are completed you will slowly return to the upright standing position. It’s a good idea to take some time to come up slowly to prevent muscles from spasming and to allow blood to flow to your head. Take a deep breath and wave your arms above your head to help draw air into your lungs.

Notes

Those who are less flexible in the hamstrings may find their knees bending a bit as they lower. That is ok, but try to keep your legs as straight as possible throughout. Part of the difficulty of this is why it is classified as an “advanced” dynamic warm-up. So if it’s too difficult, go and check out the previous two videos ion this series and work your way up!

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Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.