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The IHFA’s Official Five Minute Dynamic Warm Up for Physical Activity

As discussed in our blog Components of a Workout, we recommend completing a Dynamic Warm Up prior to structured exercise or before participating in other forms of physical activity. The IHFA’s Official Five Minute Dynamic Warm Up for Physical Activity includes completing 10 different calisthenic type exercises for 30 seconds each, working the major muscle groups of the body while preparing it for movement in multiple planes of motion. Let’s get started!

1) Jumping Jacks: Complete traditional Jumping Jacks. Your arms and legs both move through the frontal plane (also known as the coronal plane), an imaginary plane that divides the body into ventral and dorsal (front and back) sections.

Alternatives: A low-impact alternative to Jumping Jacks could include a) completing the Jacks (AKA Frontal Plane Arm Swings) followed by a set of Hip Abductions/Adductions for each leg independently or b) Lateral Step Jacks – complete a Jack (the arm movement) while taking a lateral step outward with one leg, alternating legs every other repetition.

2) Push Ups: Complete a traditional Push Up, or for alternatives you can modify your stance position using various progressions. See our blog Anyone Can Do A Push Up! for several suggestions for increasing or decreasing the difficulty of the Push Up exercise.

3) Body Weight Squats: Complete traditional body weight squats, or for an easier alternative simply sit into and out of a chair or from a bench to complete this portion of the Dynamic Warm Up.

4) Transverse Plane Arm Swings: Swing your arms along the transverse plane (also called the horizontal plane, axial plane, or transaxial plane), an imaginary plane that divides the body into superior and inferior (top and bottom) sections. As you swing back and behind you, rotate your palms so they face upward and the thumbs face backward; then rotate them the opposite direction as you swing your arms forward, criss-crossing your arms in front of you each repetition.

5) Body Weight 45 Degree Lunges: Step forward and outward 45 degrees in front of you, alternating legs each repetition.

Alternative: If lunges bother your knees or you find them too challenging, you can complete a 45 Degree Step Up instead, stepping up and laterally onto a bench in front of you, again alternating legs each repetition.

6) Sagittal Plane Arms Swings & Calf Raises: Swing your arms in the Sagittal plane, an imaginary line dividing the body into right and left halves. As your come forward and upward with your arms, alternate criss-crossing your arms while making a fist with the hand in front and stretching out the fingers of the hand in back at the top end of the swing. Also, add a calf raise at the end of the swing reaching as far toward the sky as possible.

7) Alternating Butt Kickers: Simply walk or run in place, kicking your butt with the back of your heels.

8) Push Up Plank Shoulder Touch: From a starting Push Up position, widen your foot stance to increase your base of support, and then touch your left shoulder with your right hand, alternating with a left hand touch to the right shoulder every other repetition. Just like the Push Up progressions, you can make this easier or more difficult depending on the height of the surface (i.e. counter top, bench, floor) where you place your hands. With this movement, aim to maintain your body position without moving through the legs, hips or torso as you touch your shoulders.

9) Alternating Knee Ups: From a standing position, lift one leg and pull and cradle the knee into your chest. Alternate legs every other repetition.

10) Shoulder Shrugs: Tense your shoulders up to your ears, hold for a split-second, then completely relax your arms down to your sides.