T oo often, members show up late to a group workout and just jump into a fast weight training, running or crossfit session with no warm-up. Others are pinched for time, trying to squeeze a workout into a busy schedule, so they skip the warm-up figuring the main set of the workout is more important anyway.
Is warm-up really necessary?
A warm-up activity serves two major purposes—to enhance performance and prevent injury. Consequently, a warm-up is both physical and mental.
When we are just sitting and doing nothing the blood flow to muscles is not more than 15-20%. After 10 to 12 minutes of total body exercise, blood flow to the skeletal muscles increases to some 70 to 75 percent and this is why you feel your heart rate elevated. The body temperature also increases with the blood flow and chemical transmitters are released from the brain in order to tackle the exercise response.
Meaning of warm up
The term warm-up describes a range of light, low level movements and activities, such as walking and performing curls on low weights and other non strenuous activities depending upon the target muscle. Its main aim is to gradually get your body up to the level of your chosen activity.
A warm-up is not the time to work on flexibility and it is not advisable to perform static stretching as part of a warm-up. Static stretching, defined as maintaining a stretched position longer than 15 seconds, has been shown to impair a number of performance parameters important to dance and is detrimental to muscular strength and power. However, stretches held for less than 15 seconds do not appear to have a negative effect on performance.
Benefits of warming up
Lubrication of joints
With a proper warm up exercise and stretching routine, the elasticity and flexibility of the tendons and ligaments are increased. Your joints are lubricated with synovial fluid which is released during your warm up routine.
One of the advantages of warm up is mental preparation. Suppose you’re going to squat 200 pounds today, you’ll have train your mind first in order to reach there. Warm up sets are going to make things easy to reach your goal of maximum output.
Be it strength, hypertrophy, cardio, etc., warm up has it’s own importance in every thing related to fitness. Warm up helps to create an awareness in the muscle by releasing neurotransmitters. It helps in increasing the heart rate, which causes more awareness and focus.
If you want to stay away from injuries and perform at your max output, make warm up an integral part of your workout and focus on it like you are doing for the prime workout movements.
About the author
Jonty Nanda is a ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, Nutritionist as well as a NSCA CSCS Certified sports coach. He's into this profession because he's passionate to transform lives. Being a type 1 diabetic himself, he wants people to exercise safely and in the healthiest way possible!