Why warm-up before exercise? Being one of the most neglected aspects of our fitness regime, the warm-up before exercise is essential to warm and release our muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments. Warming up will raise the heart rate safely and enables us to perform at our optimal level effectively and efficiently for a long time without risk of injury.
Why warm-up before exercise?
Kathy O’Meara, personal trainer, explains why we warm-up before exercise.
When planning a client’s warm-up, I like to preview the sets that will follow so that the correct muscles are targeted.
Warmups conducted this way will provide bodyweight versions of exercises you will perform later under resistance, e.g., air squats and lunges, including dynamic movements will prep the body effectively for heavy squat sets or leg presses. That is so much more effective than jumping on a treadmill or cross-trainer for ten minutes and hoping for the best.
And yes! You’ll elevate your core temperature and heart rate, but it won’t necessarily target the joints and muscles that will be stressed during the workout. However, if you’re looking for a warmup that will challenge the whole body this could be a good general go-to plan:
THE BEST GENERAL WARMUP BEFORE EXERCISE
World’s Greatest Stretch
The name says it all… This versatile, dynamic stretch targets every major muscle in the body, especially those which we tend to underuse if we sit at a desk all day. It simulates movements you’ll perform during a workout, and in particular mobilises the groin, thoracic, hips and ankles.
If you only do one stretch make it this one:
The best warm-ups before exercise?
The band stretching warm up
As practised by the All Blacks in Dublin recently,
- Overhand pull apart;
- Lateral leg raises;
- Single-arm front raise;
- Band resisted squat;
- Standing reverse fly;
- Band resisted hip hinge, could be the perfect joint mobilisation and form enhancing warmup. Check it out:
Step forward, drive the back leg forward, lift and hug the leg.
Lateral lunge and reach warm up
This warm up targets the glutes (especially glute med which is notorious for tendinopathy), legs, and lower back.
Jumping Jacks warm up
Despite being old school, this warm-up exercise is very effective and you get plenty of them during our BODYATTACK classes.
Plyometric squats and lunges warm up
Remember to land lightly, drive up through the heels and avoid placing undue stress through the knees.
Why warm-up before exercise? If you’re hoping for longevity in fitness if you want to be able to perform pain-free and injury-free, then the ten minutes you spend prepping on the gym floor could be the best ten minutes ever spent.
If you want to know more about why warm-up before exercise, or how to warm-up before exercising, contact any of our personal trainers.
Kathy O’Meara is a personal trainer specialising in cancer and cardiac exercise rehabilitation. She is a sports therapist, movement specialist, reflexologist and teaches a range of Les Mills classes at Westmanstown www.powerdown.ie