• Nicola Dale

A Little Intro to Me & My Go To 5 Min Warm Up

Updated: Aug 6, 2020

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to share with you that I’m starting a blog. After my travelling plans got cut short by COVID-19, I decided to finally bite the bullet and do my Personal Training course. I still have a few bits to finish off, but I thought there’s no time like the present to get my blog up and running. My aim is to create a space where you can learn, find motivation and get inspired to find a way of moving you love. Once my qualification comes in, you will also be able to enquire about training with me through this website.

To start things off here are 5 facts to get to know me:

1. I’m 24yrs old and currently live in Milton Keynes.

Nicola in New Zealand

2. I spent the past year living in Australia, predominantly in Melbourne working as a bartender.

3. I studied Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester and graduated in 2017.

4. I’ve danced (mostly street dance) since I was 5, and whilst recently the most dancing I’ve done is on a night out or on zoom to the girls, it’s something I really want to push myself to get back in to.

5. I’m a huge animal lover, I even did my year 10 work experience at a dairy farm and spent the majority of my time cuddling the cows.

Now you know a little bit about me let’s get straight in with my first post:

My go to 5 Minute Warm Up

Warming up is often neglected, but a good warm-up will help prime your body both mentally and physically for the work ahead. Research shows a dynamic warm up can increase your performance and reduce your chances of injury, thus it’s not something to be missed. Before each workout, aim to spend 5-10minutes performing mobility exercises, dynamic stretches and movements that raise your heart rate and body temperature (this could be a light jog, skipping or moving through a sequence of bodyweight movements). Think of it as telling your body ‘hey, we’re about move’.

For my warm-ups, I like to take inspiration from yoga flows and combine a combination of dynamic stretches and mobility exercises, whilst keeping moving to increase my heart rate and body temperature. Having a few go to routines means I can easily incorporate a warm-up even when I’m in a rush. Here is one of my most frequently used sequences, let me know if you give it, or any of the movements in it, a go!

The video is double speed so the sequence should take around 5minutes real time. Be sure to take your time, flowing through the movement. Below is a description of each movement and some points to think about whilst you’re doing them.

1. Walk Outs – From standing position fold forwards and walk your hands out into a high plank position and pause. Think about keeping your wrists stacked under your shoulders and a straight line from head to toes, ensuring you’re bums not too high or low. Then walk your hands back towards your feet, keeping your legs as straight as you can, and stand up. Repeat.

2. Lower into Back Stretch – On your third walk out, hold in the high plank position and lower to the floor, staying straight with your chest reaching the floor first. If this is too difficult, first lower your knees (as if doing a kneeling push up) then your chest and chin. Lift through your upper body, stretching your lower back, pause and lower. Push back into high plank, thinking of pulling your belly button to the ceiling first, then pushing through your shoulders and walk back to standing. Repeat once more.

3. Cat Cow – After your second back bend come to all fours, tuck your tailbone, rounding your spine and dropping your head into cat pose. Then tilt your pelvis back, arching your back, dropping your belly and gently gazing up for cow pose. Slowly move through this movement 5 times.

4. Downward Dog Peddles – From all fours push back into downward-facing dog, lifting your sit bone towards the ceiling, straightening the legs (but not locking out the knees) inwardly rotating your thighs slightly and pulling your heels towards the ground. Draw your shoulders towards your tail bone, press your hands into the floor, outwardly rotate your upper arms and draw the navel in towards the spine. Peddle your feet out working from heel to toe. Count 10 peddles.

5. World’s Greatest Stretch –Step your left foot forward onto the outside of your left hand into a high lunge. Reach your left arm up straight and twist your torso towards your left leg. Pause then return to high lunge. Repeat 4 times on your left side then step back into high plank and repeat on the right.

6. Thread the Needle – Lower from the high plank as you did earlier and return to all fours. Raise your left arm to the sky, twisting your torso then lower and slide the arm underneath your right arm, palm facing up, bringing your shoulder all the way to the mat. Pause and come back to all fours. Repeat again on the left, and then on the right.

7. Hip CARs (Controlled Articular Rotations) – From all fours raise one leg behind you so its bent in a 90degree angle, the bottom of your foot facing the ceiling. Turn your knee to face away from your body then slowly circle it back down to all fours. Repeat 5 times on each leg.

8. Walk to feet, forward fold and bend – Push back into downward-facing dog as above, pause and then walk your feet towards your hands. Hold the forward fold, then bend your knees, bringing your chest to your thighs then straighten your legs back into a forward fold. Repeat once more and roll up to standing.

9. Squat with Thoracic Rotations – Take a wide stance, pointing your toes out slightly and squat down. With one hand touching the floor, reach the other arm to the sky, stretching and twisting through the spine and repeat on the other side. Flow through this movement 4 times.

10. Wide Leg Hamstring Stretch and Roll Up – Straighten your legs but stay in a forward fold to stretch the hamstrings. Pause for a couple seconds then roll up to standing.

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