…Without a Workout Warm Up
Isn’t it hard enough devoting time to working out? Much like a good book, wouldn’t you rather skip to the juicy tidbits? Better yet, how about getting to the end of a workout and move past all the hard work in between? Is that crazy thinking or what? The truth is, most people do overlook and often undervalue the most important step of proper exercise – a workout warm up.
How to Get a Proper Workout Warm Up
The workout warm up is essential for:
- Shifting your focus to physical activity
- Limbering up the joints
- Gradually increasing heart rate, instead of abruptly (that’s bad, m’kay?)
- Circulating blood throughout your whole body
- Practicing and preparing your body for the future movements
- Reducing the risk of injury
When Should You Get a Workout Warm Up?
- Before any exercise, such as strength training, resistance training, bodyweight exercises, etc.
- Prior to any cardio exercise, including running, biking, swimming, etc.
- Just ahead of any sports
What Constitutes a Good Workout Warm Up?
- Dynamic stretching – This type of stretching is when you move a body part through its full range of motion. Examples: shoulder rolls, arm circles, and trunk rotations
- Easing slowly into a cardiovascular routine and steadily increase over 10 minutes.
- Pantomiming or mimicking the same sport-specific movement.
There is no tried and true way of warming up. The primary goal of the warm up is to gently introduce your body to the upcoming activity.
How Long Should a workout Warm Up Be?
Ten minutes is always a good amount of time for a warm up. This amount of time was a non-negotiable for me when I trained clients in the gym. If my clients missed their warm up, then they spent the first ten minutes warming up with me. If you workout with me, then you know that I don’t skip a single moment of my warm up. I want a kick ass workout, so warm-ups are crucial to me!
What Is Not a Good workout Warm Up?
- Static stretching – The traditional stretch and hold position exercise is NOT an adequate warm up and does not increase blood flow. In fact, there is no scientific proof that static stretching prevents injury or decreases delayed onset muscle soreness.
- Ballistic stretching – This is the bouncing stretch where you rapidly go in and out of a stretch position. Except for highly trained athletes, ballistic stretching should NEVER be done because it can damage muscles, tendons, and ligaments. No, ballistic stretching is NOT dynamic stretching. Think of dynamic stretching as exercises with a stretch element to them. Ballistic stretching is a bad representation of static stretching.
- Weight training – Nope, light weights performed for high reps does not constitute a warm up. Though a high rep/low weight set as your first set is a good idea, this is NOT a warm up to your whole routine.
An Exact Plan with a Workout Warm Up
Time is your most valuable commodity, so I know that warm-ups seem like you squander your time. However, you may be missing out on your best workouts since you’ve skipped or overlooked this necessity. Give it a shot for the next month. If you find it does nothing for you, then drop me a line, and I’ll see what I can do to help you tweak your program for better results.
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You should consult a qualified medical professional before starting this or any other health & fitness program. As with any exercise or diet program, at any time you if experience any discomfort, pain or duress of any sort, stop immediately and consult your physician. The creators, producers, participants, advertisers and distributors of this program disclaim any liabilities or losses in connection with the exercises or advice within this blog. Thoroughly inspect any equipment or workout area as free of danger, flaw or compromise, ahead of use. The user assumes all responsibility when performing any movements contained in this blog.
Sources: Hosford, Beverly. (2015, Dec. 21). The Common Mistakes People Make When Warming Up. Retrieved from AceFitness.org.
While my greatest passions are health & fitness, writing and reading, I also love to spend time traveling with my wife, watching pro wrestling and playing guitar. I currently reside in Columbus, Ohio, with my wife, Kelli, and our rescue cat, Izzie.