Before jumping on the treadmill or cross trainer, follow these quick and easy warm up exercises to help you get the most out of your training.
Ankle circles: Stand on one foot and lift the other off the ground. Slowly flex that raised ankle through its full range of motion, making circles with the toes. Do six to eight circles in each direction. Switch feet and repeat.
Leg swings: Stand on one leg and swing the other loosely from the hip, front to back, in a relaxed, unforced motion. Your foot should swing no higher than a foot or so off the ground. Do 15-20 swings on each leg.
Pelvic loops: Place your hands on your hips with your knees gently bent and feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your body upright and make 10 slow circles with your hips, pushing them gently forward, left, back, and right. Reverse directions and repeat.
Arm circles: Hold both arms straight out from your sides, palms down, making yourself into the letter T. Make 10-12 slow backward circles with your hands, starting small and finishing with large circles using your entire arm. Shake your arms out and repeat with 10-12 forward circles.
Hula-hoop jumps: Hop in place on both feet. Keep your head and shoulders facing forward. Twist your feet and lower body left, then right, back and forth with each of 20 hops.