If I want to hear a client groan, all I need to do is ask them to spend 10-15 minutes properly warming up. Yet, if I ask them to add 10-15 minutes to the weight lifting component of their training session, they’re usually more than happy to do so.
We all know we should do it, but when it comes to exercise, the first thing to often go when it comes to our workouts is the warm-up.
We’re either too tired, can’t be bothered, don’t think it’s ‘that important’.
The truth however, is that no matter how much we want to avoid it, a proper warm-up (of even 15 minutes) can be extremely beneficial for your training, decreasing the risk of injury whilst training and improving your overall health.
So what does a ‘proper’ warm-up look like?
One of the best ways to gently increase your blood flow is through light aerobic activity.
Light aerobic activities include:
What you’re looking for here is to feel a slow raise in your heart rate, and work up to your feel a light sweat, often on your forehead.
By engaging in 5-10 minutes of aerobic activity, you increase in your cardiovascular output, raising your core body temperature and increasing the blood flow in the muscles. This not only improves muscle performance during your workout, but flexibility, therefore reducing the likelihood of injury.
Often overlooked due to a belief it’s time consuming, foam rolling and other soft tissue therapy tools such as massage balls and sticks can be extremely beneficial to releasing stiffness in necessary muscles.
By focusing 2-5 your time on the areas of the body you feel stiffest, rather than trying to foam roll the entire body, you can reap the many benefits.
Soft Tissue Therapy can help improve blood flow to specific areas of the body so that they become more mobile.
The most commonly overlooked part of a warm-up, yet what can be argued to be one of the most significant, is dynamic stretching. Whilst many people’s go-to when they think of stretching is the static stretch, the benefits of dynamic stretching should not be overlooked.
Benefits of dynamic stretching include:
Taking 5-15 minutes, depending on the specificity of muscles about to be trained and level of training about to be performed. You should do as many sets as it takes to reach your maximum range of motion in any given direction, however, it’s important to ensure you avoid pushing to the point of muscular fatigue.
Dynamic stretches can include:
So there you have it, whether you’re looking to build strength, shape muscle, or boost your lifting endurance, the above warm-up process can not only improve your overall health, but decrease your risk of injury and therefore time off from training, improve your lifting and therefore results in the weights room, and help keep you mobile in approximately 15 minutes.Tags: body, featured, personal training, strength training, stretching, training, trigger point therapy, warm-up, Weight Training, workout