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A true athlete knows that stretching before a workout is imperative if you want to remain injury-free, so martial artist and actor Jean Claude Van Damme came up with the perfect set of stretches that will get each part of your body ready for action.
However, before diving into the exercises, you need to know how to stay in a straight position, from head to toes. Van Damme states this countless times during his lesson. Therefore, here are Jean Claude’s instructions for a perfectly straight position:
If you respect all of the above, Van Damme guarantees that when you “go into a restaurant, you go into a bar, people look at you because you have a strong physical presence”.
Now, since we’ve already learned how to keep a proper straight posture, we can find out how to get ready for an injury-free workout in Jean Claude Van Damme’s style.
This part of Van Damme’s stretching routine will get your back, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hips ready to perform at the highest level during your workout.
This move is an ice-breaker that warm-ups both your upper and lower body. Before all, don’t forget to always stay with your back straight.
Note: If you have a ‘big stomach’ put your hands up because your belly will curve your spine otherwise. Also, in the third set, try squeezing your buttocks while stretching once per second.
While having a yogistic ring to it, this stretch will open up your lungs and get the blood flowing throughout your back muscles.
Note: for the more advanced, Van Damme advises doing this exercise with your feet kept close together.
Before starting this exercise, Van Damme advises taking a deep breath using your arms “to open the lungs and the cage.” Also, don’t forget to keep everything straight, including your head.
This exercise will “make space for your heart” as JCVD likes to say.
Note: if you have poor shoulder flexibility, move slowly.
After doing this exercise, you will find that your usual elbow strain whenever you do triceps or push-ups disappears.
Firstly, you should know that quality it’s more important than quantity here and in general. So be sure to concentrate on your form. Also, if you do it right, Van Damme guarantees that your forearms will get as big as his.
Bonus moves: lock your fingers and begin rotating for one set; extend your arms and begin closing and stretching your hands 50 times per day.
These wrist warm-up exercises are especially useful if done before workouts that are pretty demanding on the wrists, like our at-home biceps workout.
You definitely want to prepare your neck muscles and the cervical spine for your workouts.
With this exercise, it’s very important to start slowly and increase the range as you get going.
Working on your hips’ flexibility will bring amazing benefits to all your other exercises, so be sure to stretch them properly.
Did we mention that this warm-up made by Jean Claude Van Damme will not only get your body ready for an intensive workout, but it will also drastically improve your mobility.
Note: If you need a chair to keep your balance, place one in front of you.
Van Damme says that legs are very important because they are the foundation, the pillar of the temple, so be sure to stretch them properly.
Legs are also involved in many exercises, like squats and frog jumps, so warming them up is vital for avoiding injuries. This way you will be able to train them effectively afterward.
See your squat game leveling up as you incorporate this exercise into your warm-up routine.
The following two exercises will reinforce the middle of the body and the knees.
Note: If you get more advanced, you can do circles while you keep your legs in the air. Also, you can bring them to your back and front instead of your sides.
Van Damme says the Achilles tendon is a very important part to train before a workout.
Bonus note: keep your feet pointing a little bit inside for a better warm-up of the calves.
Van Damme warns that women especially like this stretch.
Now, thanks to Van Damme, you have a perfect warm-up program that will get every part of your body ready even for the most intense workout. Also, don’t be surprised if you will soon be able to do his famous “epic split”, because these stretches are developing your flexibility as well.
Fitness and Nutrition