Spring Warm-Up

Getting back into shape after a hiatus? Tune up yourmuscles, especially your hips.

By Haley Greenwald-Gonella

It’s time for a tune up! Spring signalsto us that it’s time to clean up our actsand the cobwebs that have us feeling abit rusty.

Have you ever heard someonecomplain that they know when it’sgoing to rain? Or that they can feel theweather changes in their elbow or kneethat they sprained or broke years ago?This sensation is caused by changes inthe barometric pressure, which can affectyour muscles and tendons.

From years of dance, I can feel thepressure changes in my legs. It’s an achyfeeling, one that most athletes mightdescribe as cold—your muscles feelcold, constricted.

Here’s a springtime workout to get backin shape and warm up your muscles.

Jumping Jacks

Start with some simple jumping jacks toget warmed up and for some light cardio.If you need more of a challenge, keep yourarms bent at the elbow instead of bringingthem down to your sides each time. Thiswill work the arms a bit more. Do 30jumping jacks or five to 10 minutes’ worth,whichever gets your heart rate up faster.

Wall Squats

Now that you’re warmed up a bit, easeinto the muscles that experience some of the most cobwebs—the hips. Leaningwith your back against a wall, slide downthe wall, keeping your heels down, into awall squat. Press your palms together infront of your heart and press your elbowsinto the insides of your shins or knees.Your knees should track over your anklesand point between your first and secondtoes. Sink deeper into the squat witheach exhale. Stay in the squat for five toseven breaths. Repeat for three reps.

Knee Lifts

Introducing movement back into thebody, stand with your feet hip distanceapart, pick up your right foot, keepingyour knee bent, and bring the knee upto hip height. Swipe the knee across thebody and replace the foot on the floor.Repeat on the left. This is a single repetition.Repeat for 15 reps. Each rep shouldbe at a fast pace in order to continue towarm the body.

Forward Stretch

Sitting down on the floor, place the solesof the feet together in a butterfly leg position.Open the feet with your thumbs,and rest your elbows on your thighs toopen the knees. Roll the body forward,press the elbows down and breathe.Deepen into the pose with each exhale.Remain in the pose for 15 breaths.

About the Author

After dancing since the age of3, Haley Greenwald-Gonellathought it was time to try a newart. In elementary school, shebegan playing the flute and wasin the marching band in middleschool and for the first two yearsof high school. She also played thebassoon during concert season.Dance drew Haley back while inhigh school.

She graduated from the Universityof California, Irvine, with degreesin dance and English. She recentlygraduated from the Universityof Southern California with amaster’s degree in SpecializedJournalism (The Arts).

Haley is also a certified registeredyoga teacher with Yoga Alliance.She draws upon her dance andyoga training when it comes to allthings fitness and the arts.