Groiners

Groiners

Finding a killer cardio move that strengthens every joint in your body pays off big. The groiner is that move. 

A great addition to any dynamic warm-up routine, groiners primarily target the glutes and hip flexors while also working the hams and engaging your core. In addition to being part of a routine, they are also effective when performed on their own.

Because this dynamic move is performed in a plank position, groiners take advantage of optimal time under tension while improving your flexibility and range of motion. This compound bodyweight resistance exercise uses a calisthenic movement to pack a powerful punch. 

History

Despite an exhaustive search, we could not find a documented point of origin for the groiner; it was likely invented as a warm-up move that gained popularity due to its effectiveness.

A warm-up is performed in order to avoid strain, pain, or injury during imminent physical exertion. The groiner undoubtedly falls under this category.

Although they are most frequently performed before participating in an event or exercise, warm-ups are not just for workouts. Singers, musicians, speakers, actors, competitive athletes, weightlifters, and fitness enthusiasts can all benefit from warming-up in one way or another. A major question: where exactly did the idea of a warm-up come from?

The more we learn about exercise history, the more we realize how much we don’t actually know. So many things formed cumulatively or slowly that they are hard to pinpoint. 

There is some evidence that the concept of the warm-up arrived in America alongside the calisthenic gymnastics movement, which swept the nation in the early part of the 19th century. However, man has been loosening his body in preparation for a strenuous activity for much longer, and perhaps ever since the dawn of time.

It is possible that the warm-up just came from common sense and trial-and-error. It perhaps was a natural instinct throughout the world. Indeed, we even see evidence of warming up in animals, which suggests that this theory is true.

How to Perform a Groiner

Step 1: Kneel down on your hands and knees on a mat or other smooth surface.

Step 2: Adopt a plank position by placing your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Extend your legs to perch on your toes, and engage your core. 

Step 3: Maintain a flat back throughout the movement, while bringing your left foot forward and planting it outside your left hand. 

Step 4: Hold the stretch for 20-40 seconds. 

Step 5: Lower your leg back into the plank position. 

Step 6: Perform the same procedure on your right side as you did on your left. 

Step 7: Repeat the motions at a faster tempo, holding the contraction movement for one count until the reps in your set have been achieved. 

Benefits

  • Increases hip mobility 
  • Improves joint flexibility
  • Elevates heart rate
  • Effectively burns calories
  • Enhances blood flow to your muscles
  • Improves athletic or workout performance
  • Increases flexibility and agility
  • Improves control and balance
  • Enhances coordination
  • Escalates core temperature
  • Stimulates nervous system 
  • Strengthens and protects joints, tendons, ligaments, and bones
  • Increases range of motion

Variations

Other moves similar to the groiner include:

  • Hip circles
  • Plank jacks
  • Plank steps
  • Lunges
  • Leg Swings
  • Twisting lunges

Groiners: A Challenging Warm-up

When we warm up, we are essentially testing the waters and getting our body used to the temperature before we jump into the pool of our workout. 

Research has found that a dynamic or active warm-up improves the body’s workout or athletic performance more so than static stretching. Static stretching still has a place, and is best done after the workout, during the cool-down phase. 

Typically, warm-ups are performed by lightly practicing the basic movements our bodies will go through in the coming activity. However, when we find a warm-up that challenges and works the body the way groiners do, we’re successfully killing two birds with one stone.

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