Do you skip warm up to save time and get started on the workout right away? Then, go back in time to your school days and remember your physical training class always started with a good ten minutes of warm up. While you giggled doing all those stretches, it did ensure that your muscles became elastic and flexible enough to endure the runs and exercises you would do after that warm up. True, to its name, warm up increases temperature of your body and blood flow to the muscles. While there is no hard and fast rule on how long should you warm up, 10-20 minutes are enough to prep your body for the intense training sessions ahead.
The pre-workout phase of your weight training session is usually divided into two phases: a general warm-up phase and a stretching phase. It is always recommended that you perform your warm ups followed by some stretching.
Performing a warm up routine raises your body temperature and increases the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the body. A warm up with stretching initiates the circulation of blood and oxygen to the soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, skeletons and helps prepare your body for higher performance during the workout.
Regular stretching helps improve your joint flexibility by increasing the range of motion. This helps relieve joint’s stress or tension and decreases the probability of injury. It even accelerates the process of healing associated with muscles, joints or bones. Warm ups and stretching are usually performed before and after your weight training which may vary from 15 to 30 minutes as per your availability of time.
HOW A PRE-WORKOUT WARM UP IMPROVES YOUR OVERALL WORKOUT PERFORMANCE
When you relax sitting in the chair, most of the small blood vessels (capillaries) within your skeletal muscles are closed and produce a relatively low 15-20-percent of blood flow to the muscle cells but when you exercise for about 10 to 15 minutes, the blood flow in the skeletal muscles increases to about 70 to 75 percent because of the opening of blood capillaries.
Enhanced blood flow ensures an increase in muscle temperature. The increase in blood flow to the muscles helps the hemoglobin in your blood release more oxygen to the muscle cells. More blood to muscles along with the availability of more oxygen helps your body perform more efficiently during the workout. An increase in muscle temperature contributes significantly to faster muscle contraction and relaxation. This also ensures that your muscle metabolism and nerve transmission are enhanced for faster and smoother coordination. Top 5 benefits of a warm up are:
1. INCREASES MENTAL FOCUS
An engaging warm-up helps you focus more effectively which in turn helps you learn the workout lessons much quickly and allows you to enjoy the physical activities while you progress towards your fitness goals. Warm up routine allows your mind to remain relaxed and positive and keeps up your concentration throughout the workout session. In a way, warm up routine helps you get mentally ready for tough workout sessions and makes you endure discomfort during the workout easily.
To sum up, warm ups and stretching go a long way in improving your technique, skill and coordination during your physical training.
2. ENHANCING THE RANGE OF MOTION ALONG YOUR JOINTS
Proper warm up assists your joints to extend safely along your joints for a full range of motion. This helps enhance the range of motion along your joints makes sure that your limbs are flexible enough to perform more difficult and strenuous workouts.
The primary goal of any arm-up is to prevent injury during your intense physical activity. With right warm up and stretching, you allow your muscles to undergo a greater range of motion which subsequently decreases the chance of excessive soreness, tendinitis, strains, overtaxed muscles or fatigue. Warmer muscles ensure that there will be no acute injuries such as hamstring strains which are quite common due to improper workouts.
TIPS FOR AN EFFECTIVE WARM UP
- Get ready for your warm up routine which may include light cardiovascular activity for about 10 to 20 minutes as per your requirement. The cardiovascular activity can be in the form of jogging or can be done using a treadmill or a recumbent bike.
- It is always suggested that you don’t follow the same warm up routine every day when you go for the workout. For instance, if you have to perform upper body weight training, you may consider warming up on a rowing machine whereas, if you have to workout your legs during the weight training routine, you may consider warming up on the treadmill or exercise bike.
It’s time to get wise and follow the right set of warm up exercises for your workouts. Warm ups and stretching prevent your injury while you work out and help you achieve your fitness goals easily without much complication.