If you are in a hurry, you may feel tempted to skip a warm-up and jump right into your workout. This is not a good idea because you are at risk of being injured.
When preparing for any exercise, whether cardio, strength training, or a team sport, spend a few minutes easing your muscles in training mode. Doing so can help you reap many training rewards.
Benefits of warming up before a workout
Warm-up exercises can help prepare the body for more strenuous activity and make it easier to exercise. Some of the key benefits of a heater include:
- Better flexibility can make it easier to exercise correctly.
- Warming up can help muscles relax, which can lead to minor injuries.
- Having better blood flow helps your muscles get the nutrition they need before starting more intense work.
- Studies show that warmed-up muscles can help you train more effectively.
- A more extensive range of motion can help you move your joints more completely.
- Warm muscles can help you move more efficiently and less pain or stiffness.
You can do a sport-specific warm-up or try the following warm-up exercises that include a wide range of movements.
- Place your feet hip-width apart and twist your toes slightly forward or to the side. Take a short break with your knees over, but not past your toes.
- Activate the core, keep your back straight, and slowly lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Exhale and get up again.
- Practice 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
- Get into a pushup position. If too demanding, you can start by making a plank on your knees. If you are more advanced, try making a plank on your forearms. Try making a high plank with your arms fully extended if you are somewhere in between.
- Keep your palms and toes firmly planted on the floor. Keep your back straight and your core tight. Do not lower your head or back.
- Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Press into the right foot as you step the left foot over to the left.
- From here, squat while you are bending your left leg and keeping your right leg straight.
- Perform a side lunge on the other side.
- Practice 3 to 4 sets of 15 to 20 reps.
- Place yourself in a high plank position, on top of a pushup, with your hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your shoulders placed over your hands. Your feet should be together behind you. Keep your abdomen activated.
- Slowly lower your body to the floor. Do not let your upper body or back hang down. Your elbows may flare up during this movement.
- When your chest or chin almost touches the ground, push up and straighten your arms.
- Have 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Jogging leg lifts
- Jog at a slow pace.
- Jog while lifting your knees toward your chest for at least 30 seconds. Next, jog while kicking your feet up toward your buttocks.
- Return to jogging at a slow pace.
How long should a warm-up be?
Have at least 10 to 20 minutes warming up. The more intense your workout will be, the longer your warm-up should be.
First, focus on large muscle groups and then perform warm-ups that mimic some of the movements you want to do while exercising. For example, if you plan to run or bike, do so at a slower pace to get warmed up.