How Should I Warm Up Before a Workout?
Today’s blog post will teach you the importance of warming up before a workout and guide you through some of the best dynamic warm ups using easy-to-follow YouTube and Instagram videos.
The article includes warm ups suitable for all types of workout, including home workouts, strength training, cardio, and gym sessions.
Ready to avoid injury and enhance your performance?
Let’s get warmed up!
So, why are warm ups so important?
Let’s compare your muscles to elastic bands. Try stretching them too much before warming them up and there’s a possibility they will snap.
The same thing can happen with your muscles!
“Don’t run before you can walk”
Warming up involves exercising at a lower intensity, getting your muscles ready to go through their full range of motion and work at higher strength.
Not only does this prevent injury, but it also has numerous other benefits.
What are the benefits of warming up?
Aside from preventing injury, performing an effective warm up before you workout can have the following advantages.
1. Warm ups prepare you mentally for the workout ahead
Warm ups are a great way to get your mind ready to workout! By easing you into your fitness with some suitable low intensity exercises, you will take your mind off what you need to do at work tomorrow and instead start to focus on your body, regulating your breathing and activating the necessary muscle groups.
2. Warm ups raise your body temperature
Before working out, it’s likely that you have been sitting on your bum in an office all day, so the majority of your muscles will have remained dormant. Unfortunately, that means that your body will probably be quite stiff and inflexible.
Warming up and increasing your body temperature will allow your muscles to relax and increase their flexibility, ready to perform those deep squats in perfect form without the risk of injury!
3. Warm ups increase oxygen flow around the body
In addition to an increased body temperature, warm ups also improve blood flow, which accelerates oxygen delivery around the body. During exercise, your muscles demand higher levels of oxygen, so warming up will help you to fulfill this requirement.
4. Warm ups increase your body’s range of motion
To safely perform your exercises at your body’s full range of motion, it’s important to lubricate your joints beforehand. Warming up will get them ready to handle heavier loads and higher intensity activities.
5. Warm ups will decrease muscle soreness
As demonstrated in this randomized control trial, warm ups can significantly reduce delayed onset muscle soreness experienced after workouts.
Should I static stretch before a workout?
According to a number of scientific studies, static stretching demonstrates scant benefits for fitness workouts.
It can even hinder performance and strength gains!
Instead, sports scientists suggest performing dynamic warm ups before a workout as they are the most effective for increasing your body’s range of motion and therefore decrease the likelihood of injury during your workout.
Static stretches are more effective as part of a cool down, which should be performed at the end of your workout.
What is a dynamic warm up?
In contrast to the long-holds employed by static stretching, a dynamic warm up involves short dynamic stretches and movements that loosen up your joints and surrounding muscles. What’s more, the movement helps to increase your blood flow and body temperature.
A dynamic warm up often mimics the movements that you will use in the upcoming workout in order to prepare the right muscle groups.
How do I warm up properly?
The best comprehensive warm ups will start by preparing your main muscle groups (e.g. shoulders, chest, back, arms, abdominals, glutes, and legs) before focusing on the specific muscles you aim to use during your workout or exercise activity.
For example, if you plan on going for a run, it’s a good idea to warm up your hip flexors, hamstrings, core muscles, etc.
As mentioned above, the movements could also mimic those that you will use during your workout.
A warm up should be at least 5 to 10 minutes long.
If you have time for a workout, you have time for a warm up!
What is the best all-round warm up?
This is a handy little warm up routine that gets your main muscle groups happy and invigorated. It can be done before any workout, including strength or cardio.
What is the best warm up to do before a run?
Here’s a great warm up routine you can perform before going on a run.
What is the best warm up to do before an upper body workout?
This is a great way to warm up those upper body muscles before you hit the weights!
What is the best warm up to do before a lower body & glutes workout?
Been sitting on your bum all day? This is a fantastic warm up to get those legs and booty ready to exercise.
Ready to workout?
If you found this blog post because you had questions about how to warm up, then you probably have questions about how to improve your health and fitness, right?
In that case…
You’d really benefit from booking in a free consultation with a certified personal trainer!