We know how it goes: You hit snooze one too many times and suddenly you’re hustling to fit in your morning run. Or maybe you're eager to get to the gym after being stuck at your desk all day. You’re stiff as a board, but in a hurry, so you twist back and forth a couple of times to crack your back while you dial up your workout playlist and then get moving.
When time’s a factor (and when is it not?), mobility is the part of our fitness regimen we skip in favor of the fun stuff. But stretching is one of the most important steps to maintaining an active lifestyle. Mike Collette, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, says a proper warmup is essential to prepare tissue temperature, prep the nervous system, and prevent injury.
We asked Collette, who owns and trains at Myles Ambassador Gym CrossFit Prototype, to create a warmup that could become as integral a part of the fitness habit as queuing up that playlist. He put together this quick and efficient full-body routine that can be done anywhere and at any time with little to no equipment.
Video: The Full-Body Mobility Warmup
Perform these five movements in order to prep for anything from running, hiking, biking, climbing, or a workout in the gym. You’ll remember it as the best 5-10 minutes of your workout when you’re still able to do what you love 20 years from now.
1. Walk the dog
- Start in a push-up position and pike up into a Downward Dog yoga pose
- Alternate legs bending one knee while keeping the opposite leg straight and trying to keep your heel on the ground
- Hold each position for 1-2 seconds before switching legs
2. Active Hamstring
- Start by lying on your back and pull one knee into your chest while keeping the opposite leg straight and flush to the ground
- While keeping your leg tucked into your chest, try to straighten your other knee as much as you can. You will be actively stretching your hamstring while using your quad to do the movement
- Hold for 2-3 seconds at the end of your range of motion
3. Rocking Couch Stretch
- Start in a half kneeling position
- Put your back foot up onto a bench or object for support. You can also do this by grabbing that foot if you can balance in this position
- Rock your butt back to your heel, squeezing the glute on that side. You do not want to over extend in this position, so think about drawing your pelvis in or “tucking your belly button in” to prevent arching your back. You will feel a stretch in your quad/hip flexor complex
- Hold each glute contraction for 2-3 seconds before rocking forward
4. Spiderman Hip Complex with Upward Rotation
- Start in a long half kneeling position with one hand on the floor and the opposite hand on the foot of the leg that is bent
- Use your elbow on that side to push your knee out slightly
- From here lift you hip up and try to straighten out the involved leg
- Drop back down to the starting position and then rotate up with the hand that was once on the floor keeping the elbow straight and keeping your eye on that hand
- Hold each position for 2-3 seconds
5. Side Lying Windmill
- Start in a side lying position with the bottom leg extended and the top knee and hip flexed
- If you have a foam roller or implement to keep the top leg pinned, use it to prevent rotation from the lower back
- Put your arms and hands together with a 90-degree angle at your arm pit
- Gather a big breath from your belly to your chest and then rotate the top arm over the top and try to touch the ground behind you