Warming up before you exercise is important. It’s no secret that exercise is good for your body and health, but why? Well, a warm-up will help prepare the muscles for the strenuous workout you are about to get into.
We will be delving into the nitty-gritty of warm ups, its benefits and other factors that you need to consider in selecting the warmups that will set you up for success for your workouts!
Reach the goal of an elevated heart rate
The goal of the warm-up is to get your heart rate up, increase blood flow, and prepare your body for the workout ahead. To do this, you'll need to raise your body temperature and increase muscle temperature
Benefits of a solid warmup
Help with flexibility, range of motion (ROM), alertness/energy levels, and metabolism rate.
Prepare your body for exercise, which means it can help prevent injuries by giving you a sense of what might happen during exercise.
It also helps with alignment and muscle control, which will make it easier to do more advanced exercises later on in the workout.
The best way to warm up is by doing some basic stretches before starting any physical activity, especially if this involves weight lifting or other strength-building exercises that require focus and concentration on the part of your muscles (like pull-ups).
Another option is by performing some light cardio like jogging or walking for about five minutes before beginning any other exercises. You can do Habit Stacking (a technique we picked up from our Atomic Habits Deep Dive) where you can just walk a couple of blocks to your gym so that can be your light cardio before starting your usual workout.
Make it specific to the activities you're doing in your workout
If your routine is active and involves weights, you should do a light workout first. This can be anything from jumping jacks to walking around the block or even climbing stairs.
If your workout is quite strenuous then you should also include some form of cardio in the warm up as well.
If your workout involves yoga poses and stretches, then it's important that these are done before starting any other exercises because they will help prepare your body for what's coming next.
Caveat: Warmups are not always effective
In fact, they may even be harmful if done incorrectly! In a recent study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers found that “warmup routines did not increase strength or power relative to the main workout” when used on their own.
This means that you can do a warmup before your workout but it won't have any lasting impact on your performance in the gym or on the field.
Another research also investigated why warmups might hurt performance. They found that warm-up routines were not effective when:
They didn't fit the activity
They were too short to warm muscles
They were too vigorous and energy-draining
Too much time passed between the warmup and the activity or even
When it comes to warming up, the best thing you can do is to listen to your body. If something isn’t working out, or you feel like your workout might be better off with a different warm up, then try something else! Make sure that whatever routine you choose will make you feel good about the results of your workout and help prevent injury.
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