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Why & How To Warm Up

May 03, 2022

Warming up properly is probably the most under used performance enhancing tip out there for any and all types of activity. One key benefit of warming up is increased muscle temperature and blood flow. This in turn reduces the risk of injuries to muscles and tendons and actually improves exercise performance!

Key Benefits

  1. Increase Body Temperature
  2. Increase Blood Flow and Oxygen Delivery
  3. Mental Preparation
  4. Injury Resilience
  5. Joint lubrication

Types of Warm Up

There are lot of different ways to warm up and even more types of exercise you can use to warm up. However here are some of the many strategies;

Light Cardiovascular Exercise

Simply put, get moving! Walk, row, cycle, run or even skip just keep it very light. The aim is to do between 10 and 15 minutes to help increases your core body temperature.

Dynamic Warm Up

This is moving your joints through a full range of movement at moderate pace with an emphasis on slow moving through the available range of motion. Dynamic warm up should focus on full body movement with multiple muscle groups being emphasized at once, for example Leg pendulum, Bodyweight Squat, bounds, hip shoulder ankle circles are just a few options, ask an exercise professional or have a look at some educational videos for help.  A dynamic warm up promotes blood flow, increases functional mobility, helps to prevent injury and improves overall performance.

Pre Working Set Light-Loads and Technique Work

Before you start any working set in your program you should use an empty barbell and progressively add load to the movement over a number of “warm up” sets to prepare for the working sets. This will not only increase muscle temperature, blood flow and oxygen delivery in that area it will work to improve the mind to muscle connection, getting you into the groove of the movement, making you more efficient.

Myofascial Release

Active release methods can be an important part of a productive warm up. Methods like foam rolling, soft tissue massage, and lacrosse ball myofascial release are all options for working out specific aches and pains. Foam rolling may be especially helpful before sprinting or workouts that require extra flexibility.

Activation Exercises

These are exercise that activate motor units in your muscles, they are turned on by electrical signals sent from the brain when activated by exercise. These signals cause contraction of the fibres in the muscles. These are either on or off. These exercises not only help to warm up the specific muscle groups. They will also help you to make a stronger mind muscle connection. Again there are far too many options to run through here however ask an exercise professional or have a look at some educational videos for help.

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