It can be tempting to skip warming up prior to exercising. Whether you're on a time crunch, aren't a fan of stretching, or simply want to get your workout over with, it can be easy to gloss over your warm-up and jump right into whatever movement you love most. But is this the safest practice?
What’s a warm-up
The warm up is basically a wakeup call for your body, preparing you for exercise. Basically, when we are seated or sedentary, our muscles shorten due to position in the chair. But when you start moving, the muscles will elongate when in the new position. If the change happens too quickly, there is risk for injury so it's important to remember that if your at risk of injury warm up first.
A warm up is a period of activity done before a workout that helps prepare the body for the demands of their chosen exercise or fitness regimen. It should be essential prior to any exercise. A warm up will warm the body up and increase core temperature slightly in order to make it more flexible and less likely to get injured. It also increases blood flow, which supports the body during exercise by better facilitating delivery of oxygen to working muscles.
How to Warm-Up Correctly
A warm-up can last anywhere from five to 10 minutes, and often involves cardiovascular exercise, the stretches and or joint mobilizers. The goal is to perform relaxed easy activity. This can be in the form of a brisk walk around the block, a quick five minute ride on a stationary bike, or a 1000 meter row of light resistance at a moderate pace.
Benefits of a Warm-Up
Increases Body Temperature: This stretch warms up the muscles, which improves the elasticity of the muscles, and allows improved oxygen delivery to the muscles. This will allow you to perform more intense and strenuous activity.
Improves Workout Performance: One of the key benefits of a warmup is that it will improve your overall performance during your workout. Via the facilitation of greater range of motion, improved oxygen delivery to the muscles for better power and endurance, and enhanced neuromuscular function. It quite literally allows your muscles to start to contract faster.
Can Help Improve Flexibility: It's time to stop damaging your muscles with static stretching. Dynamic stretching before exercise improves the elasticity and flexibility of your muscles and has benefits not only for that work out, but when done consistently, can aid in long-term flexibility improvement.
Warm ups are an effective tool against injury because they activate your muscles and prepare you for intense exercise.
A warm-up is a good time for you to collect your thoughts and mentally prepare to take on a strenuous workout. That way, your body, and your mind, are ready for the exercise.
Warming up sends important signals to your body that it's time to work out. Doing a quick warm-up before you dive into your workout prevents injuries and improves flexibility.