What is Priming?

As we head into spring in earnest, you may be tempted to make the most of the longer days and switch your exercise from the morning to the early evening instead.

If that’s the case, it might be worthwhile looking into adding some ‘priming’ into your routine. A term that essentially means warming up and waking up the body within 24 hours of exercise, priming is a great to activate everything from your muscles and joints to your nervous system in preparation for exercise. It also works well to keep the mind muscle connection going, which is an important part of exercise efficiency. Although extra exercise is great to add into your day anyway, the technique is used by elite athletes as a way of boosting performance and preventing a slump between training sessions and big matches or events with research showing it can enhance performance for up to 48 hours afterwards.

The idea, unlike a regular workout session, is not to encourage improvement or even produce metrics you can benchmark anything against. Instead, the idea is just to keep your body running and ticking over enough to make sure it’s properly prepped for your workout later, so think of it a bit like an extended warm up.

In essence your prime session can consist of anything that kick starts your body into action but exercises like squats, lunges, planks and deadlifts are all great. Just make sure you keep it brief enough so as not to exhaust your muscles – short and sharp is the name of the game.