Ever promise yourself you’ll stretch more but never do? Guilty! Then I learned the hard way through injuries and do my best to make it a priority. Today I’ve partnered with Vital Proteins to bring you my favorite way to warm up for intense gym sessions, runs, activities, and/or sports, plus how Vital Proteins helps with muscle and joint recovery.
My favorite way to warm up is with dynamic movements, meaning you’re moving to warm up. When you’re just holding a stretch, those are called static stretches and I prefer to do those at the end of a workout. Before a hardcore gym day, here’s what I do:
High Knee Pulls
As you’re walking, pull your knee toward your chest and alternate as you continue marching. Some people take a step or two in between each knee pull.
I have super tight hams and love Inchworms. Start standing tall, bend over forward and walk your hands out into a plank. Then slowly inch your feet toward your hands, inches at a time, until your feet are at your hands while keeping your legs straight. Hard for me to keep them straight, which shows how tight my hams are. Then walk your hands out back to a plank and repeat.
While marching, touch your fingers to your toes, alternate sides. So left hand, right toes, right hands, left toes. So good for your hams too. Walk as you do this.
Forward and reverse lunges
Basic but effective. Walking lunges forward and backwards. It challenges your balance and warms up your legs. Add dumbbell curls to warm up your arms.
With quick feet, you’ll kick your knees up and alternate with your arms while traveling. It looks like an exaggerated run. You can do this in place or high knee down a few meters. If you’re not comfortable moving your arms, I put my hands out hip height, and try to get my knees up high enough to touch my hands.
You’re literally kicking your own butt. Do a light jog, but make contact with your tookus.
Anyone have tight hips? **everyone nod yes** Don’t underestimate the power of these suckers. You’ll feel muscle you never knew existed! I add two bands; one around my ankles and one right under my knees. You can just stick to one if that makes you comfortable. I’ll get low in a squat position and walk forward, then backward and then sideways. Stay in your squat position and keep your knees pushing outward. Feel the burn.
Yes, it does seem like a lot, but it’s worth it especially if you’re about to do something intense and care about your body. Nothing is worse than being out of commission for weeks or even months. You want to be loose and warmed before jumping into anything heavy and avoid hurting yourself.
What is Vital Proteins?
I was first introduced to Vital Proteins at Blogfest last year and this has become one of my favorite products to incorporate into my health regimen. What makes this product special is that it helps with recovery and ligament repair in ways normal protein shakes and meats can’t. Their products contain collagen which is good for your muscles, joints, and cartilage, in addition to skin, hair and nails. As we age, we produce less collagen and the more workouts we put our bodies through, the more we need it for our bodies to heal.
I had the chance to sample numerous products. My favorite part is that most of them are tasteless and dissolve in hot and cold water. For their collagen peptides (blue), I add this stuff to anything hot just to get my protein and collagen in an super easy way. It beats having a coffee AND a protein shake in the morning. I hate chugging regular protein shakes. It gets old. So this has been the answer to my woes. I love adding it to my coffee.
The collagen whey protein is a favorite to add to smoothies. Alone, it has an almost almond milky texture. I add one scoop with water and a banana and it’s a winner.
The beef gelatin I love adding to crockpot meals, soups, stews, or anything hot. It’s unflavored as well, which masks it in every meal. Lots of people use these products to make anything from waffles, cookies, cocktails, and more. They are way more creative than I am. Their blog has tons of ideas if you’re curious.
While things like coffee, tea, and crockpot meals are easy, I also add to low-protein meals too like instant ramen or pho. I get cravings for noodles at night and since it’s all carbs and sodium, adding a scoop makes me feel better. Totally my life hack.
Activewear Details: Top & Bottoms – Outdoor Voices | Shoes | Fitness Tracker | Water Bottle (similar)
How do you commit to taking better care of your body? Leave comments and suggestions below!
Disclaimer: This blog is sponsored by Vital Proteins. All opinions are my own. I am not a certified trainer or instructor. I’m sharing workouts I’m comfortable practicing on my own. So if you happen to trip on a twig and bust your face, please don’t sue me.