Warming up for workouts: nobody likes to do it. Some find it boring, some simply say they don’t have the time. However, by skipping your warm-up, you’re cheating yourself out of a more effective workout, and may be setting yourself up for injury. Warm-ups are supposed to prepare your body for your workout, address stability issues, and fix weaknesses. Completing a dynamic warm-up before you start breaking a sweat will improve the quality of your workout and prevent future injury. Need some guidelines? Here’s how to structure the perfect warm-up.
Tip #1: Match the Warm Up to the Training Focus
Your warm-up should reflect the exercises you’ll be doing. Hitting legs? Spend a majority of your warm up preparing your lower body and core. Upper body day? You may want to think about using bands and dynamic warm-up exercises that target your shoulders, rotator cuff, chest, and back.
Tip #2: Ease into It
When warming up, start off slow and then build up your speed and momentum. This allows your core body temperature to rise in a steady manner.
Tip #3: Move Your Body
When it comes to warming up, you want to focus on dynamic stretches over static stretches (such as bending over to touch your toes or doing a shoulder stretch). Some studies have found static stretching before a workout diminishes strength and increases chances for injury. Save the static stretches for after your workout and focus on dynamic stretches such as air squats, leg swings, band work, and walking lunges with a trunk rotation.
Tip #4: Roll it Out
Break out the foam roller for some self myofascial release. This technique loosens tight muscles and increases blood flow by moving tissue through full ranges of motion. This leads to a more effective and powerful workout.
Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from trainingcor.com