I highly recommend warming up before working out to all my clients. It really doesn’t take that long and can help prevent injury and increase performance. By spending just 2-3 minutes doing the right exercises, you can be ready to workout.
The Goal of Warming Up
When you warm up, your goal is to accomplish two things. First, it’s to increase your heart rate. Second, it’s to get your muscles and joints to full range of motion. Doing these two things will help your body be able to handle the demands of your workout from the beginning, preventing injury and helping performance.
Why Warming Up is Important
If you start working out at full capacity without warming up, you are introducing new movements that your body might not be ready for. You want to get each joint and muscle ready for action. This is especially important if it’s cold outside or if your muscles are tight. Additionally, getting your heart rate going will help ensure oxygen and nutrients are being adequately delivered to the muscles you are using when you start really pushing them.
How to Warm Up
What exercises you do to warm up depend on what you are warming up for. You want to make sure you are warming up the muscles that you are going to be using. Warming up can be pretty quick if you do the right exercises and can be done in 2-3 minutes.
There are two exercises that will benefit everyone when they warm up, from there you can do other exercises to help activate specific muscles you will be using. The two exercises are squats and walking lunges. These will help you get full range of motion in your major joints and muscles and get your heart rate up pretty quickly.
Warm Up for your Sport
When you do warm up, think about what sport you are doing and adjust your warm up routine accordingly. For example, running and golf are very different. Running involves mostly linear motions, whereas golf incorporates a lot of rotational movement. Because of this, if you are warming up to play a round of golf, be sure to do some exercises that will get your body ready for rotation in addition to the full body warm up exercises.
Things to Consider
There is some debate about whether warming up can be proven to reduce injury, but my opinion is that it really can’t hurt. It’s going to help prepare your body for working out and since it only takes a couple minutes, why wouldn’t you do it?
Additionally, the length of your workout doesn’t affect the time it takes to warm up. Whether you are working out for 20 minutes or 3 hours, the goal of warming up is to increase your heart rate and to get your muscles and joints to full range of motion. This can be done pretty quickly and extending the warm up time won’t have a direct affect on your workout.
Lastly, listen to your body. As you implement a warm up routine, try out different exercises and see what helps your performance or feels best. If something doesn’t feel right, try something else.
Here at Momentum Sports Therapy, we have helped a lot of athletes prevent injury and increase performance by doing things like implementing a proper warm up routine. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help, please give us a call at 949-916-9742.