Jump Rope: Jumping rope isn’t exactly a cutting-edge exercise, but it really is one of the best forms of cardio and coordination training an athlete can do. Jumping rope involves almost every major muscle group in the body, and its constant movement gets your blood pumping and your heart rate going in a hurry. It also primes your body to perform plyometric, explosive movements, which are crucial for almost any form of athletic training. It’s effective, too. A jump rope warm-up was found to increase power and jumping ability in track & field athletes. The coordination involved in the jumping rope can also give you a mental warm-up.
Perform a box-based dynamic warmup: If you’re looking for a dynamic warm-up that will get your blood pumping through a wide variety of movements, look no further. The 7-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up shown above comes from performance coach Ben Rossi of ATP Evolution. It includes movements like Backpedals, Shuffles, Lunges, Sprints and High Knees, all of which are performed in a variety of directions around a box of cones. This warm-up is thorough but time-efficient, which makes it great if you’re looking to get ready fast prior to a demanding workout.
Light Aerobic Warm-up: Every workout needs to start with an activity that will raise your core temperature and make your muscles more elastic for the coming workout. Doing some light jogging, biking, or anything else that increases your heart rate/temperature is what you need to start with. Otherwise, getting into your workout with cold muscles is like stretching an elastic band that you’ve just pulled out of the freezer.
Do some dynamic stretches: Stretch your warm muscles, but don’t hold it. Remember: Static stretching during a warm-up can actually hinder your performance. Instead, do dynamic stretching, which involves continuously moving through a range of motion. For instance, you can make big arm circles in both directions, kick your legs forward, or simply touch your toes and then reach for the sky. The key is to not hold in any position.
Get your heart pumping: Increased heart thumping warms up your muscles and switches on your nervous system. Jog, slowly row, or ride a bike on low resistance. Just be sure you’re able to converse with your workout buddy.