This time of year in Australia the weather is getting cold and wet which means if you have an outdoor bootcamp you are probably going to find yourself indoors and undercover more often without as much space at your disposal.
(Those of you in the Northern Hemisphere might want to bookmark this to use in November.)
Following are some different warm up exercises that are either indoor specific, or that require a small amount of room so can be done indoors when you have a limited area.
The exercises included are simple movements with little demonstration/technique required, making them perfect for a warm up. Also shown are some exercises that work on ROM (range of movement) and elevating the heart rate – both important factors in a warm up.
Starting in a plank position on your hands (the top of a pushup position), have your hands and feet hip width apart. Keeping your hips steady and core braced, tap the opposite shoulder with left hand, then right hand, and continue alternating hands. Do approx. 30 reps (15 each side).
Lunge with high knee
Step back into a regular lunge, dropping the knee to lightly touch the ground, then drive the same leg forward and bring the knee up to your chest. Go back into the lunge slow, then drive up fast. Repeat for approx. 15-20 reps then change legs and repeat.
Laying on your back, adopt a hollow position. Straighten your legs at about a 45-degree angle to the ground, and have your arms straight above your head at a similar angle. Lift the top of your shoulders off the ground, making sure your lower back is flat against the ground. If your back starts to arch, your core has switched off. Raise your legs higher to make it easier, or drop your legs closer to the ground for increased difficulty, just before your back is about to arch). Hold for 20-30 secs.
Laying on your stomach, start with your arms straight in front of your body and legs straight. Looking forward, lift your arms and legs at the same time and hold for 20-30 secs. Try and get your chest and thighs off the ground at the same time. Is a good core warmup to be done in conjunction with a hollow hold.
Start in a hollow position – laying on your back with your arms above your head and legs straight at a 45-degree angle to the ground. From here, rock forward and back – first lowering your legs and bringing your shoulders off the ground, then rocking back to the hollow position. For increased difficulty, keep your feet off the ground, and legs as low as possible when you rock back.
Walking Lunges with arms above head
Step forward into a lunge, while holding both arms straight above your head (either side of your ears). Drop your back knee to the ground, then step forward with the other leg and repeat, with your arms staying parallel the whole time. Go for approx. 10-20 steps.
Sit down in a squat position with your back flat against a wall. Keep your knees and hips both stay at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your back stays flat (don’t lean forward), and your hands stay off your thighs. For added difficulty, hold a weight with your arms above your head. Hold for 1 – 2 mins.
Wall Facing Squat
Stand facing a wall, with your feet about 30-60 cms away from the base of the wall. Hold your arms above your head and straight, and lower into a squat. Depending on your hip mobility, your hands will slightly come forward as you squat down. Try and reach the bottom of the squat with your arms as straight as you can above your head. To make it easier, move away from the wall, to make it harder, move closer. Repeat for 10 reps.
Start in the top of a pushup position. Drive one knee under your body, up towards your chest, keeping your foot in the air. As you bring it back to the starting position, alternate legs and bring the other knee towards the chest. This is a fast movement, with both legs moving in a high knees running motion. This will work your core when done properly – make sure you have the hands under your chest (not out in front of your head) and keep your hips low. Repeat for 30 reps each leg.
Start in a standing position, and place your hands on the ground just in front of your feet. Keep your legs as straight as you can at this point. Then, walk your hands forward all the way until you are in a pushup position. Do one pushup, then walk your hands back to your toes for one complete rep. This is a good active warmup for your hamstrings (as well as shoulders/chest) so make sure you keep your legs as straight as you can for the whole movement. Do 4 or 5 reps at a time.
Start with your feet split as if you are about to do a lunge – one foot in front of the other. Without dropping down into a lunge, jump and change the position of your feet so the other leg is in front. Then, immediately jump and alternate again. Keep going for a fast movement to get your heart rate up. Complete for 40 – 50 reps.
In standing position, grab one knee with both hands and lift it right up to your chest, lifting the knee as high as you can. Hold it here for 5-10 secs for a stretch of the upper hamstrings and glutes. Balancing on one leg may be an issue with this one, but try and get to the 10 secs! Complete for 5 reps each side.
If you have good balance you can try this exercise on your own, but if not use a partner or fence/wall as explained below. Stand side on next to a partner facing the opposite direction. Place your closest hand on their shoulder (and they will do the same to you), and you both swing your leg (closest to your partner) forward and back for 10-15 reps. Keep the leg close to straight, and try and kick high in front of your body for a good active warmup of the hamstrings.
Start in a standing position. Take a small step forward with your left leg and put your heel on the ground with toes pointing to the sky (leg should be straight). ‘Scoop’ your hands either side of your left foot, keeping your leg straight – brush your fingers along the ground if you can. Then, take a step forward with the other leg and repeat. Make sure the forward leg stays straight to get a good stretch of the hamstrings. Continue for 20 reps.
Start by laying on your stomach with your feet against the base of a wall. Gradually, walk your feet up the wall, and walk your hands in towards the base of the wall –both at the same time. Go as high as you feel comfortable with, most clients should comfortably get their body at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Once in your top position, hold for 10 secs, then walk back down to the start position. Make sure during the hold that your core is engaged, without a ‘sway’ in the back or your bum sticking out (like a plank position). Advanced clients can walk all the way until their stomach touches the wall and hold there.
Plank to Push Up
Start on your forearms in a plank position. Push yourself up onto your right hand then left hand, then back down onto your forearms (to a pushup position) to complete 1 rep. Maintain plank form throughout, trying to limit the amount of shifting through your hips. Make sure when going from forearms to hands, you place your hands in the position your elbows were (bring them back), don’t just roll your weight forward onto your hands. Complete 15 reps with the right arm moving first, then 15 with the left arm moving first.
Start at the top of a pushup position (a plank on your hands). Take a step to the left with your left hand and left leg at the same time, then follow with the right hand and leg. Maintain the plank position as you go, keeping the hand and foot moving at the same time. Walk 10 steps to the left, then 10 steps to the right.
Put it all together
For a good warm up that doesn’t use a lot of space, use 3 or 4 of these exercises, trying to hit all major muscle groups that you will be using in the following session, and repeat the exercises 3 to 4 times.