Boxing and kickboxing are high-intensity, heart-pumping, total-body workouts that burn calories, build strength and flexibility, and tone the entire body. One of the best ways to get your body ready for a workout is to do some dynamic exercises. These active movements slowly warm up the muscles and joints while taking them through their full range of motion, increasing blood flow to the muscles, and getting them ready for intense activity. Throughout each of the movements below, be sure to focus on controlling the breath. Controlled breath is key in the warm-up as it gradually increases the heart rate.
FightCamp Trainer Coach PJ shares one of his favorite 5-minute dynamic warm-up routines to get you ready for fighting action.
7 Move Pre-Workout Routine
Marching in Place (30 seconds)
Keeping your movements slow and controlled, begin to march in place
Focus on good knee drive and raising the knee up past hip-height
A-Skips (30 seconds)
Similar to marching in place, add a little bounce to your march as if you were to skip in place
Focus on controlled motion and raising the knee up above hip-height
Key focus: In this exercise, arm drive is more active than the marching in place arm drive. Your arms should be at 90 degrees. Drive your hand back to your hip pocket and up through chin height. Make sure to not cross the midline of the chest during arm drive.
Heel Down, Toe Up (30 seconds)
This exercise is a great way to warm up the posterior chain, notably the glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
Start standing tall and place your left heel on the ground while simultaneously raising your left toes skywards
Keep your leg as straight as you can with a slight bend in your knee
Shift your hips back, performing a hip hinge, and reach down with your right hand trying to touch your left toes
Slowly rise up returning back to a standing position
Switch arms and legs and repeat
Continue for 30 seconds
Skyscrapers (30 seconds)
The easiest way to describe this movement is to visualize the children's rhyme: head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes.
Tap each of the following body parts in order with your hands: knees, toes, knees, and then, reach up (for the “sky”)
Take your time going through the motions, making sure to tap each appropriate body part, and fully reaching up, getting on the toes. Once you get the hang of it you can speed it up.
Inchworms (1 minute)
Start in a tall, standing position, keeping your feet in the same spot throughout the movement
Bend over at your hips, knees slightly bent, until your hands are on the floor
Walk your hands out until you are in a plank position, arms locked out
Perform a push-up
When you reach the top of your push-up, do a shoulder tap with each arm
Walk your hands back towards your feet and rise back up to a standing position
Finally, reach up towards the ceiling
Repeat for 1 minute
A-Skip - Up and Out (30 seconds)
This exercise is the same concept as the A-Skip above but with a twist.
Repeat the A-Skip exercise, but after the first right knee skip (up) and once your foot taps the ground, drive your same knee upwards and out again, pointing it out perpendicular to your body (out)
Tap it back down to the ground
Switch legs and repeat
This can take time to get down, so go slowly at first and control the movement. Once you get the hang of it, stay on the balls of your feet and get a rhythm going as if you were jumping rope, maintaining a good upright posture.
Sit-Up + Hollow Hold (1 minute)
Drop down on the ground and lie on your back, knees bent at 90 degrees, feet flat on the ground
Perform a full sit-up
Slowly lower yourself back down to the ground until your lower and mid-back make contact with the ground
From there, transfer to a hollow body hold: Lower back in contact with the ground, legs raised off the ground six inches, arms fully extended overhead back behind you, keeping the core engaged
Hold for 2 seconds and then reset
After the full five minutes, your heart rate will be up and your muscles will be primed for action. These drills are not only a great way to warm up before a workout, but they can also be used after a workout as a cool down, if performed slowly enough and controlled to lower your heart rate. Remember, controlled breath is key to properly elevating the heart rate. The same is true for the cool down.
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