Warming up before a serious workout is very important. Choosing a good, effective warm-up before working out will help you avoid injuries that can delay your fitness progress. The right warm-up exercises can create an amazing difference in how quickly your fitness improves.
However, choosing the wrong warm-up can also have an impact on your overall performance. You could end up getting injured or not maximizing the workouts which you make time for in your busy schedule. Keep reading as we talk about the most effective ways to warm up before working out!
Whether you’re touching your toes or reaching for the sky, a simple stretch can make a big difference. By slowly getting your muscles used to deep stretching movements, you can increase your flexibility and improve your posture. One good tip is to start slow: if your hamstrings feel a little bit tight, don’t force yourself to the point of feeling pain. Instead, take your time and ease into the stretch.
Studies have shown that stretching is best when done gradually. You usually don’t want to push or bounce the stretch, though sometimes a bit of dynamic stretching can be used during warm-ups as long as you don’t force the limits of flexibility. Coaches and personal trainers have said that stretches should be modified depending on their personal capacity. Take it slow and see your improvement. Listening to your body is crucial when beginning a workout.
Yoga is a form of active stretching–this means you also practice engaging your muscles as you warm up. Although it’s famous for poses like “Tree Pose” or “Downward-Facing Dog”, this warm-up is really all about practice. Yogis should never try and force themselves into a stretch.
The great thing about yoga is that it also helps you breathe. Each pose and every movement is timed with your breathing technique. Yoga as a warm-up is perfect for those who are gearing up for strength workouts and low-impact cardio like biking and swimming.
There is also an option for you to go straight to cardio–so long as you don’t overdo it. Think of your normal cardio exercises like running or jumping and then dial them down a bit. If you’re going running, try jogging in place for thirty seconds. If you’re going to do burpees, try a round of slow jumping jacks.
Doing these exercises help prepare your body for the intensity to come. You will notice yourself sweating around halfway through the first set–this means your muscles are getting warm. By the time you start your actual workout, you’ll find that any muscle discomfort will slowly disappear.
Bodyweight Strength Exercises
There are a lot of articles which talk about how to prepare for a marathon–but what about lifting weights? Contrary to popular belief, weight training actually takes a bigger toll on the body than cardio. This is because the body is building mass, discarding fat, and dealing with resistance all at the same time. Therefore, warming up before strength training is mandatory for most athletes.
If you’re planning to do a superset for your thighs, quads, and glutes–then a round of fifteen to thirty slow squats is an awesome place to start. If you plan on focusing on the chest area, slow presses or pushups are the way to go. By simulating the intense strength exercises, your muscles and joints are able to learn the movement beforehand.
This is ideal for those in fields like swimming and cycling where the resistance isn’t weight-based. By using the right equipment, you can stretch, strengthen, and build endurance all at once. Strength bands improve your power but don’t increase your muscle mass.
For those with ligament and tendon injuries, strength-band stretches are a great substitute for traditional weights. This is also great for those looking into Pilates and Intensive Yoga. This warm-up helps give you the long, lean body you’ve been trying to achieve.
Warming up before working out is an essential part of any fitness regimen. It helps you avoid injury, develop strength, and increase your cardio capacity. However, it’s not enough to choose just any warm-up. To be more efficient, you need to match your warmup to the kind of intense exercise that you plan to do.
There are a lot of ways to make sure that you have the perfect warm-up: you can consult with a personal trainer, your local gym, or consult an online fitness resource. Workouts don’t have to belong to be effective. By choosing an exercise that gets your muscles engaged faster, you can get the most out of a thirty or forty-minute workout. When it comes to your fitness journey–don’t just work hard, work smart!