niix fit - How to Warm Up properly
During this Covid-19 pandemic, you might find yourself exercising and moving your body more than normal with the extra spare time being in lockdown. This is fantastic to see. Exercise is exceptionally beneficial for our physical and mental wellbeing and particularly important during an uncertain time like this. If you are new to exercise or your body is not used to such regular movement, it is imperative that you perform a sufficient warm-up to ease yourself into it, rather than jumping straight in and potentially giving yourself an injury. We have come up with a Warm Up and Cool Down routine for you to perform every time you work out to prevent injury and stiffness.
In this blog, we picked the brains of Nicki who created the niix fit app, to inspire mums and women approaching 40 and beyond to build strength, confidence and stamina through exercise. With over 10 years of studio experience, Nicki’s at-home workouts range from 10-20 minutes so are perfect at fitting into your new routine with the kids and family, plus they can get involved too!
Side reach - 40 seconds:
Standing in neutral spine & pelvis with your feet hip width apart, lengthen one arm above your head. Reach up and over to one side, ensuring that you connect your abdominals & pelvic floor as you lift up and over. Avoid collapsing in the underneath waist. You should feel a lengthening down the side of your torso and your core engaged. Swaps sides and repeat 4-5 times.
Arm circles - 40 seconds each way:
Standing in neutral spine & pelvis with your feet hip width apart, rotate your arms in large circles back and forwards alternating directions. You can move in a back stroke & front crawl motion if preferred. Keep the ribcage & core connected so that the upper body stays stable and avoids going into extension as you lift your arms.
Hip circles - 40 seconds each leg:
Standing in neutral spine & pelvis with your feet hip width apart, lift one leg up towards your chest and then out to the side, down and around back to the start position. Repeat in the other direction 5x on both legs. Pelvic floor and core connection should be recruited to stabilise the body.
Knee hugs - 40 seconds each leg:
Standing in neutral spine & pelvis with your feet hip width apart, lift one leg up and draw it in towards your chest. Hold for 40s. Pelvic floor and core connection should be recruited to stabilise the body.
High knees - 40 seconds:
Great to get the heart rate up and warm you up from top to toe. Lift the knees up and down in a marching action. If you want to work harder, activate a running action with high knees.
Step forward and lower into a lunge position until you feel a stretch in your back leg. Place your hands on your front ankle and straighten your legs to make an A-frame. You should feel a stretch in the front hamstring. Return to a lunge position and lower your back knee to the ground. Place your hands on your front thigh and slowly move the front knee over your shoe as you feel a deep stretch in the back thigh. That’s one rep. Complete four reps total on each side.
Alternate Toe Touches:
Stand tall with your arms wide. Move into a squat position and bring your hand towards the opposite toe. Return to centre and perform on the other side.
So there you have it! These exercises cover all your major muscles groups and can be completed at any time of day. Like a car, we all need a bit of time to allow the engine to warm up & cool down!