A warm up can be used to both prevent injury and enhance performance. Whether for competitions or just day to day gym sessions it is always important to do a warm-up before you start your main exercise. Here we talk about our top 5 reasons why you should add a warm-up into your routine.
5 REASONS TO WARM-UP:
Don’t skip the warm-up - it can be dangerous as it puts more strain on the heart. It’s like an old car - warm up the engine through the gears before putting your foot down!
Warming-Up will raise your overall body and muscle temperature. This fluctuation in temperature will raise the blood flow to your muscles increasing your rate of energy production
Fast reflexes needed for team sports? Your contraction and reflex times are better at higher muscle temperatures
Increase flexibility and lubricate your joints. You’re less likely to injure soft tissue (tendons, ligaments, muscles) if you warm-up. This will in turn increase your range of motion and flexibility helping to prevent a pull of any muscles that are about to be trained
The mental edge. Warming up can help to get you mentally “in the zone”. Ready to get competitive? Get warmed-up before hand ready to get your pump on, you’ll feel more motivated during your main set.
Types of Warm Up
General Warm-Ups – This is low intensity exercise to gradually build up your heart rate. This can include activities such as slow jogging, skipping or some basic calisthenics. They stimulate your heart, blood flow and lungs, whilst preparing the muscles for your main activity.
Dynamic Stretches– Particularly good for skill based activities (tennis, weight training, running, etc). The muscle specific warm-up prepares the specific muscles that will be used in an activity through stretching and movement. Basic activities for a runner might include lunges, calf raises and sumo squats to stretch out the leg muscles using dynamic movement to keep the blood flow elevated.
How much should you warm-up?
Every person will have different needs, however most recommendations are in the 10 to 20 minute range.
Remember warming-up and cooling down go hand in hand, so cooling down is just as important. Incorporate some of your pre-routine warm-up stretches into your cool down too. This will help your recovery and exercise/fitness progress!