What is a Warm Up?
A Warm Up is the prelude to physical activity. It’s a way to gently increase the pulse rate as we prepare to warm our muscles and increase our heart rate. Warming up is not the same as static stretching. Static stretching should be avoided when the muscles are cold.
Why do we need to Warm Up?
The pupose of warm up is to prevent injury by warming up the muscles and the core. When we warm up we loosen our muscles and lubricate our joints, as we begin to increase our blood flow. As your body temperature increases, our joints and muscles become ready to execute sudden and explosive movements.
When do we warm up?
Warm up should be conducted before any physical activity. The duration of the warm up can vary depending on the intensity and duration of the intended physical activity. As a guideline, the warm up should be at least 5 to 10 minutes or longer depending on the activity to be performed. For example a gymnast or ballet dancer would have a longer and more extensive warm up routine.
How do we warm up?
Start by getting your heart pumping. A few minutes of light to moderate cardio, on a treadmill, bike, or marching on the spot. Remember to start easy. You should be able to carry a conversation during this part of the workout. Dynamic stretching should form the next part of the warm up. Dynamic stretching uses motion to prepare the muscles for action. Your goal is to put your muscles and joints through their range of motion to ensure your body is functioning properly. Dynamic stretching could include shoulder rotations, star jump, lunges, squats, leg swings, push ups, sit ups and there are many more.
Other benefits of warming up:
Warm up will help you mentally prepare. You will be less likely to want to give up when the workout gets tough. Use your time warming up to remind yourself of what you are doing and why it is important to you. You will have increased flexibility and reduce your risk of injury. It will also prepare you to be ready to tackle the heavy duty machines at Shape Personal Training.
By Lorah Chetcuti
Shape Personal Training Pty Ltdm