A solid warmup sets you up for a solid workout. When it comes to prepping for strength training, an active warmup primes the joints and muscles, prepping them for the heavy lifting. For a proper warmup, Equinox trainer Lauren Fairbanks recommends getting the heart rate up a bit with five minutes of cardio, like running on a treadmill, jumping rope, or using an elliptical, followed by three to five minutes of dynamic stretching. Lauren suggests doing at least three of these dynamic stretches before heading to the weight rack. Or do all five moves for a very thorough warmup.
Give an active stretch to both your hips and hamstrings with the rocking lunge. Start in a deep lunge with your left leg forward; you can even bring your right knee to the floor. Straighten your left knee to rock your weight back and onto your right foot, lengthening the left hamstring. Flex your left toes as you rock into the hamstring stretch to lengthen the calf a bit too. Return back to your deep lunge, and repeat for a total of 10 times on each side.
A walking kick, the toy soldier stretches out the back of the leg, both hamstrings and calves. Step forward on your right foot, and kick your left leg forward, bringing your left toes toward your right hand. Step onto your left foot and kick the right leg, bringing the right foot toward your left hand. Take 20 steps total.
Keep reading for three more moves.