WHY IS A WARM UP SO IMPORTANT?
Warming up before training is essential. If you leave out a warm up, or don’t bother doing it properly, your muscles will be cold and then jumping into training will result in a sub optimal performance. Even worse you could injure yourself.
- Warming up before training helps to improve performance and avoid injury
- It’s a mental and physical process that prepares your body and mind for training
What does it do?
- Increases your heart rate
- Increases blood flow and oxygen to muscles
- Warms muscles – these contract/relax/stretch more readily
- Opens up neural pathways that allows nerve impulses travel more quickly
- Warm up slowly starting with small movements that mobilise your major joints
- Then use a pulse raising exercise (e.g. jog) to get your blood flowing
- Go through dynamic stretches that mimic the the movements you’ll be making
- This means extending your muscle quite quickly under a light load e.g. swinging your ams, raising your legs
You can also warm up by wearing extra clothing or having a hot shower or bath – however this should not replace a warm up
It’s a bad idea to stretch statically before exercise
- Experts agree that static stretching before exercise is not just counter productive but potentially harmful
- In the last few years several studies have found static stretching before exercise makes you slower and weaker
- This is when static stretching is a good idea
- Safely bring heart rate down
- Aids venous return (blood returning to the heart) and prevents blood pooling in lower extremities
- Encourages mental relaxation
Take away advice – always, always warm up!
- Jumping in to a set of exercises without doing a full warm up will increase your risk of injury
- A warm up activates your joints and muscles and mentally prepares you for the workout to come
So now you know why a warm up is so important you’re ready to incorporate it into all of your training. If you’d like more information on Trainwithjake sessions please click here