Do you HAVE to Warm up Before Working Out?

Do you warm up before you jump into a workout? Well.. if you answered no to that then I think you should change that. SO many people go right into their workout without doing a single thing to prepare their muscles, joints and tendons. Oh and if you are someone who jumps on the treadmill for 10 minutes before your workout to warm up, it is better than not warming up but you need to be doing more! When you aren't warming up properly there is a very big risk of injury. It may not happen right away but over time, especially as you age, your body will not be the same age as your mind anymore!

What really happens when you warm up?

The whole reason to warm up is to increase blood flow which will decrease any muscle stiffness, reduce any injuries and improve your overall performance when it's time to get your real workout in. Not only does it prepare your body but it also prepares your mind for more extreme activity. The name explains it all, your warm up should warm you the heck up and get your body ready for the mental workout you are about to do! When your body temperature increases the muscle elasticity improves which will reduce the risk of any strains and pulls. Not only will your body temperature increase and help with your muscles - increased blood flow resulting from a warm-up are important for delivery of oxygen to the muscles and for prevention of build-up of unwanted waste products which can lead to muscle soreness.

What should I do?

A general warm up should be about 8-10 minutes long. The intensity of the warm up depends on how intense your workout will be. The whole point of this warm up is to prepare your body for what you are about to do, so mimicking your workout by doing lighter exercises and joint mobility is great! Be aware though, there is a very big difference between a warm up and stretching. Pre warm up, your muscles are cold and prone to injuries - static stretching (for example, reaching for your toes and holding there) before your power and strength activates could have the opposite effect on your performance during your workout. When you are holding a static stretch your brain is actually telling your muscles it's time to 'cool down' so save those static stretches for your post workout! Get your heart pumping and blood flowing with a dynamic warm up.

Full Body Warm up

Lower Body Specific warm up

Upper body specific warm up

Try out the warm ups above on the specific day. Go through each exercise slow and controlled, really focusing on doing each rep properly so you can prep your body for your bad ass workout! Do as many reps as you need to depending on how your body feels. Some days you may feel more stiff than others, so warm up the slightest bit longer to really get your blood pumping.

If this article helped you please leave a comment and contact me with any questions!

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