3 Warm-Ups for Your Pilates Workout
Are you devoted to your Pilates class, but find the Hundred a hard start for your back and neck? Or maybe you'd like to lace up your shoes and run right out the door, but you know your hips and legs will feel better if you take five minutes to warm up first?
You're not alone. The reality is our muscles benefit from getting a little heat before exercise, regardless of what workout you're doing. Here are 3 easy ways to warm up before your favorite workout.
Pro tip: these are great to do in the middle of your work day, or as a break when traveling, too.
Full Range of Motion (FROM) for Each Joint
Rather than stretching before your next workout, try moving your joints through their full range of motion to banish stiffness and begin to heat your body up. This constant movement without load brings fluid to the joints and allows the fascia to glide more easily. Try the standing FROM warmup shown above - it only takes 5 minutes.
Light foam rolling increases circulation to your muscles, allowing them to get nourished and warm before a workout. Rollers come in many varieties; this one is my favorite. It's important that you avoid rolling any areas of active inflammation - listen to your body - you'll know if you've gone from tenderness to outright pain, which is a sign you should back off. Roll your hamstrings, quads, and hips, or follow this 10-minute video for a short foam roller workout.
Easy Replicas of Your Workout
One of the best ways to warm up is to do the exact movement pattern of your workout, but without load or fast pace. Examples of this principle are walking or jogging before a run; bodyweight squats, rows or planks before strength training; gentle cat/cow movements before yoga; or a couple of these pre-Pilates movements before your Pilates class.
Want More Movement in Your Life?
Get on my mailing list for weekly insights and tips to help you feel your best. Every week I share links about the culture and science of movement, recipes for nutritional meals, podcasts and videos to help you live your fullest life, as well as sign up information for my weekly live Pilates classes, rare openings on my private training schedule, and special wellness events.