When people begin their workouts, most people are super eager to dive right into their workout routine and lift heavy weights. However, as I learnt myself the hard way, not warming up before your workouts will have a negative effect on your overall muscle growth. Warming up is often overlooked but it has a huge variety of benefits including maximizing performance, preventing injuries and aiding your progression long term. In this blog, we will show you exactly which benefits you’ll gain from warming up, as well as which exercises you should perform to ensure your body is ready.
1. Enhanced Blood Flow and Oxygen Delivery:
A warm up routine which involves light cardiovascular workouts, such as walking, or jogging, will increase your heart rate, raising your body temperature and sending more blood to your muscles. This increased flow of blood provides a necessary level of oxygen for your muscles, prepping them for the workout ahead.
2. Improved Joint Flexibility:
Stretching before your workouts will improve your joint flexibility, ensuring that you reduce the risk of strains or tears during the top sets of your workouts. Having a flexible body allows you to move more efficiently and you’re therefore less prone to injuries.
3. Nervous System activation:
Your nervous system is responsible for coordinating muscle contractions and movements. Many people do not know this, but your nervous system also needs to be warmed up. Activating this nervous system will provide you with better communication between your brain and muscles. Why is that important? It will improve your balance, coordination and overall performance during a workout.
4. Injury Prevention:
This is perhaps the most important benefit of warming up, which is injury prevention. If you’ve had an Injury in the gym before, you’ll know how frustrating they can be. From the long days, weeks, sometimes months out of the gym.. To the constant pain that comes with some injuries, it’s no surprise that people want to avoid them. Dedicating 5 minutes at the start of each workout is much more optimal than dealing with the injuries that can happen as a result to not warming up!
5. Increasing Performance:
Thanks to the great benefits listed above, the knock-on effect is a huge increase in overall performance. I found that after implementing warm ups to my routine, my main lifts felt a lot smoother, and I also felt less fatigued after them. Not only did my performance increased, but my recovery too, the next day I was able to return to my home gym and perform at the same level as I had done the day before! All thanks to warming up beforehand.
Which Warm ups should I Perform?
It may only seem necessary to warm up the body part you’ll be training on that day. However, most workouts require the strength of other body parts to complete the movements correctly. A good example of this is Leg drive during bench press, you might not think about warming up your legs, but you’ll benefit from it if you did! These warm ups will benefit you greatly, have a look to see which ones suit you best!
1. Cardiovascular Warm up:
As mentioned above, warming up your cardiovascular system, and getting the blood pumping can be super beneficial to the quality of your workout. Therefore, we’d recommend a 5-minute brisk walk or jog, to elevate the heart rate and increase your body temperature.
2. Dynamic Stretching:
Stretching will prevent injuries and allow you to achieve a better range of motions during your exercises, here is a quick warm up example which you can follow.
3. Resistance bands warm ups:
This type of warm up is super beneficial to those of us who train for strength and hypertrophy. During our exercises our body is put under extreme stress, so why not help our bodies out by providing them with the necessary warm ups? These resistance bands warm ups can help you prepare your muscle groups for heavier loads during your workouts.
4. Yoga based warm ups:
Not only is yoga great at stretching before your workouts, but many people find it beneficial at clearing their mind, preparing them for the workout ahead. If you’re a yoga enthusiast, why not incorporate something you enjoy into your warm up!
Like yoga, those who love boxing, or skipping in general, will benefit from this cardiovascular warm up. Skipping is a great way of improving your heart rate whilst also learning a new skill!
To conclude, a proper warm up will not only provide you with outstanding temporary benefits such as improved workout performance and mentally preparing you for a workout, but it will also have its long-lasting benefits such as injury prevention and joint flexibility. For more information on how to achieve the best workouts possible, checkout our other blogs which discuss workout routines, and what equipment to use!