You’re dressed, hydrated, and on your way to Franklin Athletic Club with a protein bar in the bag. But before you hit the weights, it’s important to warm up. Maybe you think warm ups are irrelevant or a waste of precious time on an already tightly scheduled day. But cutting the warm up could end up costing a lot more than the 5-10 minutes it would have taken. Warm ups matter. Franklin Athletic Club shares the details on the why and how of warm ups.
Why Warm Up?
Warming up your body before you get into the crux of your workout will benefit you in a number of ways. Here are the top three.
- Increase body and muscle temperature. Warming up literally warms you up. Ever try pulling cold taffy or silly putty? It’s hard! Warm it up and it becomes more pliable and works more easily and efficiently. The body acts similarly. Increasing your temperature makes more oxygen available to your muscles, allowing them to expand and contract more easily. It also readies your heart (a muscle!) for the workout.
- Protects against injury. When you begin a workout cold, whether strength training or cardio, you increase your chance of injury. Warming up increases blood flow throughout the body, elasticity in the muscles and flexibility in the joints.
- Mentally ready. Your body is not the only thing that benefits from a warm up. Your mind does, too. A warm up session allows your mind to shift gears, to slough off whatever is on your mind and focus on the task at hand: exercise without injury. Lifting weights without proper form or starting too heavy because you’re mentally still elsewhere puts your workout at risk. The same is true for a cardio workout, whether you’re sprinting or distance-running. Warming up gets your head in the game.
Warming Up Well
Now that you’re convinced warming up matters and you understand how it can help, what’s the best way to warm up? Dynamic warm ups include focusing on the movements of the actual exercise or workout and incorporating them in the warm up. For instance, if you’re going for a brisk walk, warm up with a slow walk. Planning on a run? Walk briskly for five minutes to ready your body and mind. Playing a sport with lots of jumping or running? Do some squats to prepare your legs. Or, if you’re lifting weights, start a little lighter or go through the motion without the weight first.
Consider the large muscle groups that will be used in your workout and warm them up. For example:
- Shoulder circles and a slow swim before you start swimming laps
- Planks or push ups before your arm and core workout
FAC Trainers Are Here to Help With Warm Ups and More
Still have questions about warm ups? We’ve got you covered. Set up an appointment with a personal trainer in Franklin. You’ll learn the best warm ups for your exercise and activity for maximum results and safety. Reach out to Franklin Athletic Club at 615-599-5544 for more information on your road to wellness.