Variations for warming up the muscles and joints

... before you stand up and get ready to run.

It looks somewhat different, but it's basically a set of 10 different back and forth motion drills. The motions are more like a figure-8 or spiral and do require some strength and balance, so it's not without risk. Pair the right hip and knee with the heel or inner edge of the foot and the back of those knees into the chest-bend, and then place the back of your other knee into the other chest-bending knee.


This is the back-to-the-front knee variation. The third variation is a cross-up, in which you rotate the body as you lift one leg up into a cross-position. This requires good strength and balance and is generally something to do before any jump rope exercises. You can try starting with this with a partner, but it's never as easy as it looks.

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If you're familiar with the variations of yoga postures such as downward dogs and seated twists, the next series of moves will feel very familiar to you. They are a very gentle version of back-bends, and they are excellent for toning your spine without being too risky or too challenging at the same time. Lie on your back on a floor mat or yoga mat with your knees bent. Your feet should be about hip-width apart, and your hands should be on the mat with the fingertips just touching the mat at the base of the rib cage. Take hold of your hip and lift your pelvis down so that you feel like there's weight on that upper buttock. If you can't get that upper buttock off the mat, you're either too small or just don't have enough upper body strength, or else you're just not trying hard enough.