Should you be warming up before your workouts and what are the benefits of warming up? Plus a few example exercises.
Aerobic warm up
The aim of an aerobic warm up is to simply and slowly increase your heart rate, breathing rate and blood circulation to prepare the body for intense aerobic exercising.
Benefits of aerobic warm ups
Slowly warming up your heart and lunge activity will help your body to ready itself for exercise. It will also improve your performance, therefore helping to get better results. Plus it could help to prevent dizziness and injuries.
Before performing any stretching exercises you should warm up your muscles first, stretching your muscles while they’re cold could lead to muscle pulls or other more serious injuries.
Stretching makes your muscles more elastic and it reduces the risk of injury, muscle pulls and tears.
Example Warm Up Exercises
- Light weight lifting – high reps
- Short jog
- Arm circles
- Hip rotations
- Star jumps
For the warm up to be beneficial you just need to get your muscles warmed up and the blood circulating around your body.
Muscle warm ups
This is just to get the blood circulating in the muscles, a good way to do this is to perform light weight resistance exercises, a light resistance warm up is ideal before beginning a weight training session.
Benefits of warming up
- Reduces the risk of injury
- Improved performance during your workout.
- More flexible
Duration depends on a few factors, like your body temperature, which is also effected by the climate. If you are very cold for example, you may have been outside in winter conditions then you’ll need to spend more time warming up.
You will also need to spend more time warming up if you’re training first thing in the morning, your muscles and tendons will be cold and less elastic.
My warm ups
Before my workout routines I tend to do a few quick resistance exercises using light weights, plus exercises such as, arm circles, hip rotations. When it’s very cold I will spend a few minutes on the treadmill, running is a very effective way to warm up your whole body. I also tend to do some stretching before and during my workouts, just quick stretching to my chest, triceps, hamstrings and calves.
You normally only need to spend a few minutes warming up, however it’s very important in preventing injuries and improving your workout performance.