We’ve all done it before, been short on time or in a hurry to jump right into our workout, so we skip right over that warm up and get right into the grueling fast paced efforts of our training. Bad move!
I get it, warming up can sometimes seem boring or like a waste of time, but I promise spending 7-10 minutes on a proper warm up can save you a lot of grief and even help make your workout more effective… Let me explain.
A warm up should be used as a way to prepare the body for the stimulus of physical training, and the movements should in some way emulate those that will be performed at a much higher intensity during the workout. A typical warm up should include 3-6 movements done at a moderate pace repeatedly for a given amount of sets- I’ll typical keep its around 3-6 also. I like to warm up using body weight movements only, but if weights are used, keep the load relatively light.
The most important reason why a proper warm up is absolutely imperative is injury prevention. Injuries can occur for a lot of different reasons while training but one of the most common causes is lack of mobility. While you may not be able to correct all your mobility issues in one warm up, you can address the ones most directly correlated to the movements you’re about to perform. In this case, a warm up might include some foam rolling or other mobility techniques and stretching. While there is some debate about static stretching before working out, my belief is that if there is a known area of weakness or lack of flexibility that can be addressed with static stretching before working out then do it. The risk in this case is much lower than the reward.
A good warm up will also gradually raise your heart rate preparing you for the much more aggressive spike. Going from a fairly resting heart rate right into an extremely elevated rate shocks your system and will in return make it much hard for you to recover and maintain the pace while training. Here’s a sample dynamic workout done on time intervals to help get you going. Go be great people, and always warm up before you throw down!
20 seconds each continuously for 8 mins:
Walk outs– Reach for your toes and gradually walk yourself out (using your hands) into a hand plank position, then gradually walk yourself back up. The goal here is to try to keep the legs as straight as possible throughout the entire movement.
Step out hip stretch– While maintaining a stable plank position, step one foot out as close to the outside of the hand on the same side, keeping the opposite leg as straight as possible. Once this is achieved hold the position for 3-5 seconds then return to the starting hand plank and repeat for the other side of the body.
Hand plank hold– Arms extended in the top of push up position