Three Essential Warm-Up Moves
We all know we have to warm up before we work out, but if you’ve ever been tempted to skip it or cut it short, don’t be. Jumping straight into a session can not only impair the results of the workout you do, it can cause muscle strain and increase your risk of injury. Ensuring you warm up correctly is also vital to increase blood flow in your body and heat up your body temperature. The better flow of warm blood you have before exercising, the more oxygen is available and the better nourished your muscles will be. It also improves flexibility not only making it easier to move and do it correctly, but a better range of motion also helps your joints work more effectively and helps you move more freely without stiffness. Getting yourself fully prepped before a workout also triggers a release of hormones like cortisol and epinephrine in response to the stress of working out. These hormones help regulate energy production, providing the necessary energy you need to do your workout and get through the session.
The aim of loosening up at the start of your warm-up is to get things going and prepare your body for what’s ahead. You want to mobilise your key joints in the warm-up, so make sure you include drills that focus on ankles, hips, shoulders and thoracic spine. Starting your workout by loosening things up is also a good way to engage your mind and help you mentally prepare for the session ahead. Foam rolling is great for this and can be used on your back, glutes and legs too. You’re also setting yourself up for better movement quality and less risk of injury in your workout.
Get your blood pumping
Adding something in your routine that gets your heart going is an important element of your warm-up. Increasing the blood flow, getting the blood pumping and warming your up muscles in preparation for increased activity and mobility is key not just for the workout ahead but because it also wakes up your nervous system and prepares your whole body for exertion.
Do some dynamic stretching
Not to be confused with static stretching, which should be done at the end of your workout, dynamic stretching involves continuous movement through a range of stretches. This could be a series of squats, lunges or mini band glute activations, all of which help build strength and endurance and improve coordination.