Do you warm up before your workouts, and follow them with a cool down?
Well, you should! A proper warm up and a sufficient cool down will benefit your workouts in a BIG way!
Warm ups get your cardiovascular system prepped for your workout, raise your body temperature, and increase blood flow to your muscles. Cooling down can regulate your blood flow back to normal as you come out of beast mode.
Easing into and out of your workouts makes your heart feel good! And it can also help reduce your risk of injury.
To do both, you want to work with tools that will not add too much stress or strain on the body.
Our Mini Bands and Yoga Ring are bassssiiicallyyy made for these purposes. It’s like we made them with that intention, or something?!
What Makes a Good Warm Up?
A great warm up consists of an activity related to what you are going to do, but at a slower pace and a lower intensity.
Beginning with Dynamic Stretches – i.e. moving stretches – will get your blood pumping a faster than resting state, raise your body temperature (that’s where the “warm” part of “warm up” comes in), and prepare you for the work ahead.
A 5-minute jog is not going to cut it for a lot of workouts. Warming up with Mini Bands is the perfect way to activate the muscles you will recruit in your workout and move them through different ranges of motion. Go through the movements with low – yet beneficial – intensity for a better workout!
Let’s go through the moves together!!
Place the mini band around your hands. Perform pulses, pushing out against the Mini Band:
With straight arms in front of your body
With your elbows bent at 90 degrees, by your side
With straight arms, overhead.
Perform 10-20 pulses in each position.
RDL Row to Y
Place the mini bands around your hands, arms extended. Stand with your feet hip width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
Keeping tension on the band, bend your elbows and bring your hands towards your body, approaching the sides of your chest.
From this position, move your hands upward into the Y position. Perform 10-15 full sequences.
Stand with feet hip width apart in the quarter squat position with the band around your ankles.
Take a step to the right with your right foot, so that your feet are shoulder-width apart. Then, follow with your left so that your feet are hip-width apart again.
Do 10 steps in one direction, then 10 steps in the other direction to complete 10 steps per side. Repeat 3 times.
STANDING KICK BACKS
Place the Mini Band around your ankles. Shift all your weight onto your left leg.
Squeeze your abs, tuck your pelvis to create a hollow hold position. Maintain this as you swing your right leg back about 6 inches. Keep the knee straight. Don’t worry about pushing hard against the band.
Complete 10 kicks, the switch to the other side to complete 10 kicks. Repeat for 20 kick backs per side.
Place the Mini Band around your ankles, standing hip width apart. Shift all your weight onto your left leg.
Push against the mini band to forcefully set your right foot back on a diagonal. Return to start.
Complete 10 step backs on one side, then 10 step backs on the other.
STANDING HURDLE STEPS
Place the Mini Bands under your feet and stand with your feet hip width apart. Slowly alternate bringing one knee up at a time, keeping your toes pointed forward.
Perform 20 steps on each side.
CLAMSHELL HIP LIFTS
Lay on your side with the Mini Band around your legs, just above your knees. Stack your legs on top of each other and bend your knees forward in front of your body. Rest with your upper body elevated on a bent elbow.
Perform a clam shell by bringing your top leg upwards while keeping your feet stacked. When your hips are opened, complete this move by also lifting your hips as you would in a side plank.
Return your hips to the ground and lower your top leg again. Perform 5 reps on one side. Switch to the other side to complete 5 reps. And repeat for a total of 10 reps per side.
ANKLE JUMPING JACKS
Place the band around your ankles. Stand in a quarter-squat with your feet about hip-width apart. Jump your feet out and in. Set a 30 second timer and perform as many ankle jumping jacks as you can.
Woah, Cool Down, Bro!
Yes, we are all in a rush and have places to be. But spend 5-10 minutes cooling down after your workout. Cooling down will help your body get accustomed to the reduced work level that follows after exercise; and doing so in a gradual way can help ward off dizziness and fainting.
As well, DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) can be minimized by a good cool down. Soreness after a workout is expected, but if you get stuck on the toilet because you’re legs hurt too much to stand up… well, we want to avoid that.
Encourage the blood flow to gradually slow down to resting rate after you workouts with some stretches. Use this time to encourage relaxation in your body.
Grab your Yoga Ring. Take deep breaths. Sit in a stretch. Life is waiting outside the gym doors; enjoy this little safe haven before you need to face it again!
Sit with a straight back, one leg bent in towards you and the other extended at a 45 degree angle. With the same arm, reach out and place the Yoga Ring on the extended-leg’s foot. Pull your body towards that foot as you reach out, up and then towards your toe with the opposite arm.
Hold for 45-60 seconds before switching sides.
ROCKING CHILD’S POSE
Kneel on the ground with your feet together, knees apart. Sit your butt back towards your feet and reach forward with your hands.
Place either hand on the Yoga Ring with the rounded part on the ground. Rock back and forth, turning your body to deepen the stretch with the rocking motion.
Lay on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Place the Yoga Ring between your shoulders under your back with the rounded part facing upwards, the edges pointed towards the sides of your body. Cross your arms over your chest and transfer your upper body weight side to side as you rock on the Yoga Ring.
Small Actions, Big Rewards
Great things come in small packages. That describes the compact and versatile nature our Mini Bands and Yoga Rings featured in this blog post.
They are some of our most affordable equipment and will make your entire workout experience feel better before, after and during.