Warm ups may not be glamorous….But they are essential!People love to skip foam rolling and they love to skip the warm up.No it’s not glamorous BUT if you want results YOU NEED TO DO IT!Ever wonder why you are always getting injured? Or why you don’t really get goinguntil the 3 or 4th set?PROBABLY BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T WARM UP!During a warm up you prepare your body for exercise. You literally “warm it up.
Your body and muscle temperature go up. This improves your muscles’ elasticity, which reduces your risk for strains and pulls.When your muscles become warm and more elastic, your range of motion increases.Ever skip your warm up and go straight to squats and wonder why you can’t get very low? Feel a little stiff as you begin your workout? BECAUSE YOUR MUSCLES AREN’T WARM SO YOU DON’T HAVE FULL RANGE OF MOTION! So not only can’t you get low, but you also probably won’t be able to work at full capacity. You probably aren’t doing as much weight as you could be if you were warm!And on top of the fact that you are potentially hindering your progress, you are also putting yourself at risk for injury, which will potentially prevent you from even working out!
The purpose of a good warm up is to prevent injury. We all spend too much time sitting all day and our bodies get stiff. Tight muscles and immobile joints can cause havoc as we try to run, jump, punch, kick, lift and move during our workouts. So why waste the hour working out if you aren’t getting to get all of the benefit because you didn’t spend 5 or 10 minutes warming up!?!
So, enough ranting, here’s what you need to do. Start at your feet and move up the body slowly. The following simple drills can help loosen up tight joints, raise core body temperature and get you ready for your workout.
- Roll your feet and ankles in a circle
- Stretch your calves
- Touch your toes
- Sit, cross one leg and hug your knee
- Reach for the sky
- Twist at your waist and let your arms swing
- Turn your head side to side
- Look up, look down
Remember, the purpose of a warm is to prevent injury, so be sure to get a quality assessment from a health professional before starting any fitness program. A good health pro will be able to assess joint function and uncover asymmetries that could cause issues down the road. Once these imbalances are known, then we can customize the warm up to your needs. While the drills and movements listed above are great, there are literally hundreds of options for you to use.
A great warm up addresses the neck, shoulders, upper back, arms, hands, core, hips, thighs, lower leg, ankles, and feet. Our body functions as a unit and neglecting any one body part can leave us vulnerable to injury and not performing at our highest potential.
For more warm up ideas, visit our website here. Innovative Results was voted #1 gym in Orange County and offers a wide variety of fitness services, including personal training, boot camps, health workshops and more.