A fab body; toned Muscles; And a ripped set of six pack abs. It’s like a dream come true for every person hitting the gym. But its only a good beginning that can ensure a great result. So, knowledge of warm up exercises to do before a workout is a must.
Warm up exercises to do before a workout can be broadly divided into two categories –
1. General Warm up
2. Specific Warm up
General Warm up
General Warm up is done simply to get the body temperature up. This leads to fluids running through your joints. And this in turn keeps you safe from any possible injuries during workout. With the stiffness gone out of the picture, your body muscles are more relaxed. All that needs to be ensured is to get the light sweat going. There is absolutely no need to get drenched.
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Running for 5 to 10 minutes on treadmill is a good cardio exercise before you begin the rest of your warm up. After this you may move on to stretching. Stretching is an excellent way to warm up. It is a combination of many effective warm up exercises to do before a workout. It includes various movements of bending, extension, contraction etc. of various body parts. It includes warm up for:
- Upper and Lower Back
- Calf Muscles
- And more…
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Things to remember:
- Stay in control; do not over-stretch.
- Work on stretching both sides of your body
- Stretch, hold for 3 to 5 seconds, and then release. Repeat the process on both sides of the body.
- Do not stretch any body part with injury or sprain, without the advise of your physician.
- Consult your trainer for any specific stretching to be done before any particular workout.
This brings us to the next section of warm up exercises to do before a workout – specific warm up.
Specific Warm up –
Specific warm up might not be necessary before every exercise. You can do this for big compound workouts like Squats, Dead-lifts, Bench-press. Such type of specific warm ups target the muscles you are about to work on. This prepares the muscles for the physical stress they would go through during the reps.
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Things to remember:
- Start with the bar without any weights on it. Do a set or two and then start with the weights on it. Now you might want to start with light weights on the bar and 2 – 3 sets of the same. You can gradually increase your weights as per requirement.
- The target here is to achieve the pump up in the muscles after we have already got the light sweat going for us from the initial general warm-up. Reps depend on the weight that you gradually increase as per your requirement or workout goal for that day.
- You need to focus on the form and the motion during your specific warm ups. This helps keep the blood flow going to the target muscles. Which, as said before, helps keep you safe from possible injuries during the rest of the heavy workout.
- Avoid putting too much of weight initially, as too much of weight during workout leads to unnecessary energy drain. You need to conserve that energy for the rest of your workout, which requires it more than your warm-up session. Having said that, you also need to ensure that your weight is not feather-light. Extremely light weight is also not good as it won’t be helpful to warm your body up to the level required for the blood flow to reach the muscles and prepare you for the heavier workout.
Related Article: Cardio Exercises
The word warm up sounds like a task as easy as taking your regular protein shake. It is very important to understand warm up exercises to do before a workout. So, as easy or comfortable it might sound, it is not something you would want to take casually or lightly. If performed correctly, warm up exercises to do before a workout can yield great workout results and keep you safe from injuries caused due stiffness in muscles.
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