Warming up is an important part of your workout, and should begin and end every session. It prepares your body for more strenuous exercise by heating up and stretching out your muscles, increasing your circulation and pulse rate, and delivering more oxygen to your muscles. At the end of your workout, repeat these exercises to reduce sore muscle problems. We suggest the following warm-up and cool-down exercises:

Inner Thigh Stretch

Sit with the soles of your feet together with your knees pointing outward. Pull your feet as close into your groin as possible. Gently push your knees towards the floor. Hold for 15 counts.

Hamstring Stretch

Sit with your right leg extended. Rest the sole of your left foot against your right inner thigh. Stretch toward your toe as far as possible. Hold for 15 counts. Relax and then repeat with left leg extended.

Toe Touch

Slowly bend forward from your waist, letting your back and shoulders relax as you stretch toward your toes. Reach down as far as you can and hold for 15 counts.

Calf-Achilles Stretch

Lean against a wall with your left leg in front of the right and your arms forward. Keep your right leg straight and the left foot on the floor; then bend the left leg and lean forward by moving your hips toward the wall. Hold, then repeat on the other side for 15 counts. 

Head Roll

Rotate your head to the right for one count, feeling the stretch up the left side of your neck. Next, rotate your head back for one count, stretching your chin to the ceiling and letting your mouth open. Rotate your head to the left for one count, and finally, drop your head to your chest for one count. 

Shoulder Lift

Lift your right shoulder up toward your ear for one count. Then lift your left shoulder up for one count as you lower your right shoulder.

Side Stretch

Open your arms to the side and continue lifting them until they are over your head. Reach your right arm as far upward toward the ceiling as you can for one count. Feel the stretch up your right side. Repeat this action with your left arm.

Information above is for reference only. Please consult your doctor before any exercise program.

©2003-2010 Phoenix Health & Fitness Inc. All Rights Reserved.