The warm up is so often overlooked as unimportant amongst fitness practitioners new and seasoned athletes. Many do not understand the warm up and view it as a pointless activity or just do a gentle jog then get on with the main workout. THIS IS NOT HOW TO EXERCISE.
The Warm up is possibly the most important part of any workout, it should take about 10 minutes to complete when done properly. In this post i hope to explain to you the key points of a warm up and why its so important.
Why is it so important?
The warm is important because its when you tell your body “oi time to start exercise”, this is an important step as it prepares your bodies, muscles, lungs, and warms up the nervous system to tell your body to get moire oxygen and prepare the body, which make is so crucial, your body also requires oxygen so its only fair to let the heart and circulatory system warm up gradually and prepare it for the stress you’re about to place on it.
Now don’t get me wrong, doing a warm up can be boring, it can also make you look funny to others in the same park or gym as you, BUT that’s no excuse to skip it.
Components Of A Warm Up
A good warm up will consist of 3 parts and these are:-
- Joint Mobility
- Body Warming and Pulse Raising
- Muscle lengthening and Stretching
Joint mobility, is doing simple activities, such as circles with your arms, this encourages synovial fluid (joint lubricator) into the joints and warms them up efficiently. This is a vital stage to help look after those joints.
Body warming And Pulse Raising, This Stage is where you warm up the circulatory system this can be by walking for 2 minutes, raising to a jog an then to a run and then back down, or it can be just a simple 2 minutes on the skipping rope. However you choose to do this stage make sure its gradual and not straight into a sprint as this will shock the system and can result in cardiac arrest (very extreme, but why increase the chances?).
Muscle Lengthening and stretching, This stage is what it says it is but often where people go wrong. You need to compile a list of dynamic stretches to do that are related to the activity your about to take part in as your main workout. The reason you use Dynamic stretches, is because static stretching pulls the muscle and its very easy to tear the muscle if your not careful, Dynamic stretches are activities which stretch your muscles in a controlled manner.
An example of a dynamic stretch is go into a lunge position, then twist your upper body slowly to the left and then to the right and then lunge again with a different leg and repeat the twists.
How can you tell if my warm up was good?
In simple terms, you’ll be warmer.
In professional terms and how i always make sure my clients are warmed up is you should be panting at a slow constant rate, feel warm to touch and almost sweating, muscles will feel loose and joints nice smooth movements with no sound of feeling of cracking of bones or grating.
If you can tick all these boxes then this Means your are definitely ready to start your main workout.
Now you can make sure you warm up properly EVERY TIME you exercise.
Thank you for reading.