“Warming up just isn’t cool.” “I don’t have the time to warm up.” “I don’t need to do warm up exercises to lift.”
If your anything like me these are some thoughts that may go through your head at the start of your workouts. A lot of times we blow off the warm up as not playing an important role in our workouts. Regardless of the excuses, it is a crucial key to a successful workout.
Why Warm up?
Injury. Nothing can stop that journey to a new personal best, or to that extra pound of weight loss, like a torn muscle. Although it doesn’t seem like it could happen to you, it is a viable threat that could put you down for the count for many days or weeks to come.
Our muscles are like a rubber band. If a rubber band is warm and has already been stretched a couple of times you will get a lot more flexibility out of it. A cold rubber band, that hasn’t been stretched in a day, is not going to have the flexibility that the warm one does.
Another reason we warm up is form. When your muscles are loose and flexible it is much easier to have correct form. With stretched muscles you can go all the way down on that bench press, or take that squat as low as it needs to go, so that you can get the most out of every rep.
Should I do a dynamic warm up or static warm up?
Dynamic! Static stretching, in numerous studies, has been shown to hinder performance and risk injury. If you want to do static stretching save it for the cool down after your workout.
What should my Dynamic Warm up look like?
Every warm up should focus on what muscles you will be working that day. For example, If your working legs, do some lunges or jump rope. Anything that stretches the muscles you will be working on and gets your heart rate up and body moving is ideal.
Different Examples of Dynamic Warm ups:
Body weight squats
There are just a few of the many options available.
Every warm up should be specifically focused. It should go without saying that your leg warm up shouldn’t be the same for the day you are working chest or arms.
Here are some guidelines for what your warm ups should look like:
Loosen up. Make sure your warm ups are stretching your body. Don’t just take a step and call it a lunge, make sure that you are fully extending and the muscle is being stretched as far as you can.
Get your heart pumping and keep a reasonable pace. Make sure that you are getting a full rep and then transitioning into another rep. Its not a race, but you also want to make sure you are getting the most out of your warm ups.