Pre-Workout Warmup

Before starting any workout, it is important to make our body ready for it. In order to do that, an effective Pre-workout warmup routine is a must. An effective warm up routine is the one, which mobilizes every joint and stretches almost every muscle of the body.

Stretches in a Pre-Workout Warm up are always dynamic. It means, we do not hold any stretch for more than 2 seconds. Throughout the Warm up, our body should be in motion. After the warmup, our body will feel light and free.

Let us see how does a perfect Pre-Workout warm up look in the below video.

Let us now talk about the benefits of warmup:

  • Improves blood circulation: A pre-workout warm up improves the blood circulation by raising the temperature of the body. This way your body feels ready for the physical activities.
  • Removes tightness from our muscles: Before starting any workout, it is important that muscles move freely. There should not be any tightness in them. So we can perform our workout easily.
  • Motor unit recruitment: Through warm up, we engage almost all the muscles in our body. This engagement of muscles, is termed as motor unit recruitment. This makes them aware that they are going to be used. It gives our body a sense of readiness for any activity.
  • Improves flexibility: An effective pre-workout warmup removes any kind of rigidity from our muscles. This reduces the rate of cramps too.
  • Prevents us from injuries: With the combination of above-mentioned benefits, warmup prevents us from injuries.

Check my other blogs on Travelling, Running and my Race Reports.

Core Stability – Part 3

In this article,the focus will be more on enhancing the stability in our body. Once we master the exercises on a flat and little uneven surface, we can move on to next step. Now we further reduce the point of contact and introduce another highly unstable surface. These exercises will not only magnify the ability to stabilise our body, but also help us understand our body better.

This is the third part of stability series. If you have not read the previous two parts, I would recommend you to please read them first. It will give you an idea about the basics and importance of stability. Below are the links for both of them:

The two objects that we are going to use are Slant Board and Swiss Ball.

I first read about the slant board in the book “The Cool Impossible”, written by the world-renowned coach Mr Eric Orton. All the slant board exercises mentioned here are learnt from this book only.

Before performing the exercises, keep these things in mind:

  1. Perform these exercises barefoot
  2. Balance yourself on the ball of the foot
  3. Use your big toe to balance yourself

Below are three exercises with different foot placements:

  • Single leg-hold with uphill position:
  • Single leg-hold with downhill position:
  • Single leg-hold with forward position:

These exercises will work on isometric strength of your legs. These will make you more aware how your foot reacts to different positions. Especially when you are on your forefoot with heel raised.

Now we move on to some swiss ball workouts. Here we are talking about balancing our body on a swiss ball in different positions. These are few of the pretty advanced workouts and work superbly for your whole-body coordination. These do not work on a single body parts, but the whole body and help in enhancing the stability. We must be highly aware about the centre of gravity of our body which is the key to balance ourselves on a ball.

  • Four-point contact
  • Three-point contact
  • Two-point contact
  • Trying out different variations

Stability Workout – Part 2

This article will focus mainly on the core stability. Our core consists of 25 pairs of muscles and many of them are present deep inside the abdominal wall. They provide support and help us keep our body straight. In other words, core stability is the foundation for building a strong upper body.

If you haven’t read my first article on stability, I would recommend you to read that. It explains the importance of stable body and how it can affect our training for other fitness activities like agility, speed, and strength etc.

Read that article here:

Below are few basic exercises with which you can start:

  • High Plank hold: Maintain neutral spine position, keep your belly button tucked in and squeeze your glutes. This will make sure that the impact does not go to your lower back. It will also work as a good isometric strength workout for your arms and to some extent, legs as well.
  • High Plank side hold: Major focus shifts to obliques as they have to work harder now to keep the body straight.
  • Low plank: Focuses on same areas as high plank, with increased intensity.
  • Side low plank: Focuses on same areas as high plank side hold, with increased intensity.
  • Side plank knee drives: Further strengthens our obliques as we are now introducing a dynamic movement.
  • Naukaasan/Boat hold:
  • Poorna Naukaasan/Hollow Body  hold:

Please remember to do Vipreet Naukaasan/Opposite Boat hold after performing above 2 holds.

  • Ardh Halaasan/90 degree leg hold: This one looks very simple and easy, but trust me, it will burn your upper abs like anything.

Try these aasans/holds for 20 sec in the beginning and gradually move up-to 60 sec or even longer duration.

These are the basic holds that one should be able to perform before moving on to the advanced exercises to strengthen the core. You will realise, it is much easier to work on strengthening once you practice these holds properly.

Core strengthening is such a vast topic that I have written a different article to show you few advanced stability exercises, using some props like stability disc and swiss ball. You can read that article here:

Stability Workout – Part 1

Stability is one of the most important and often neglected aspect of fitness. It refers to the ability of our body to hold its constant position and control its movement. It is of utmost importance that we focus on stability before gaining strength or any other fitness ability.

All the smaller muscles in our body have the responsibility to stabilise it. We can train these small muscles by controlled movements. Whenever we plan to work on any fitness regime, it would be great if we first focus on small controlled exercises. Once we have enough stability in our body, we will be able to perform every exercise in a much better way. It will also reduce the chance of getting injured.

Below are few of the exercises which will help you gain the stability:

  • Single leg balance: Lift one leg and try to maintain the balance on another leg. The moment we lift one leg, the other one has to do extra work in terms of load balancing in order to prevent our body from falling.
  • Single leg balance with eyes closed: Closing our eyes, poses one extra challenge of being completely unaware of the surrounding. Our mind and muscles become extra aware and active to stabilise the body.
  • Single leg balance with body movements: In this, we purposefully give extra challenge to the body and gradually increase the movement rate and pattern
  • Taad aasan: Now we are gradually reducing the point of contact and increasing the challenge. Try this with closed eyes as well to further increase the complexity.
  • Taad Aasan on single leg:
  • Chair Pose leg reaches:

To further increase the complexity and intensity, we can perform above exercises on an uneven surface. For example, stability disk or even a mattress.

Below are few examples that you can try:

Although the primary focus of above exercises will be on lower body, but it will affect our upper body as well. Whole body needs to work in synchronisation, in order to be balanced.

In my next article, I will be focusing more on the upper body stabilisation.