I think we all know that warming up is vital to do before any type of exercise. However, I think that some people might not realize what the warmup is accomplishing, and what sort of things should actually be done in the warm up. So, today’s blog will focus on the reasons why it’s important to warmup and what you might need to change, or add to yours!
Why Warming Up Is Important
So, we’ve all heard at some point or another that warming up is something that we all should do before we exercise. For a long time, I didn’t even know why I was doing it; I just accepted it as something that I need to do. The first reason why it’s important is that it increases the body’s core and muscular temperature. This majorly cuts down on your risk for muscular injuries and improves oxygen delivery throughout the body.
The second reason why it’s important is that warming up elicits faster contraction and relaxation of the muscles, which can help prevent injuries and also increase your workout performance. The last reason we’ll talk about in this blog is: when done correctly warming up can directly help your performance for whatever exercise you plan on doing. For example, if you are wanting to do squats you can do a specific warmup to directly help you for those squats.
What to Include in the Warmup
The main mistake that people make when warming up is they go straight to stretching. In fact, static stretching really shouldn’t be included in the warm up at all. Science has shown that static stretching before strength training can decrease strength, and before running it can actually make you run slower. Static stretching before warming up can also damage your muscles because they aren’t ready for that type of stress.
So actually, in the warmup you should be more dynamic types of movements. This is why when people come into NoCo Fitness we usually have them start with a nice and easy bike ride or walk, so they can get nice and warmed up without putting a ton of stress on the muscles. So, a five minute bike ride is a great way to warm up but you can actually take it even further. After you spend your time on the bike, spend some time getting the specific muscles you know you will be working out even more ready.
So if you are about to do a leg day, do some more dynamic movements that will more specifically work the legs, like high knees or butt kicks. After that you can even take it a step further. For example if you know you will be doing barbell squats that days tart with body weight squats and slowly increase the resistance until you get to your desired weight.
So all in all, you should never neglect the warm up. All it needs to take is 5 minutes, and you’ll improve your workout performance and decrease your chance of injury. Sounds worth it to me!
By: Chandler Grimes