April 19, 2024

Is a Warm-Up Essential? By Brett Klika, C.S.C.S

How Should I Warm Up?

When you’re looking to maximize results and minimize your risk of injury from an exercise program, beginning each workout with a proper warm-up is key. Warm-up activities are those that prepare the body (and brain!) for what they are going to experience in a workout or exercise program.

An effective warm up usually progresses from low to moderate intensity exercises that involve the muscles, joints, and ranges of motion that will be used during exercise.

According to the American Council on Exercise, a proper warm-up:
• Increases core temperature, which can create better elasticity in muscles and a more efficient metabolism.
• Improves muscles’ ability to contract quickly and forcefully because the brain gets an opportunity to “practice” movement before it is required at a high intensity.
• Delivers more oxygen to working muscles due to increased circulation.
• Improves joint range of motion allowing for greater flexibility and mobility.

In regards to preparation, a warm-up is responsible from safely and effectively transitioning your physiology.  Imagine if your peaceful evening slumber was interrupted by crashing symbols and someone demanding you immediately start doing complex math problems.  How well would you do?  Without a proper warm-up prior to exercise, this is exactly what we are doing to our body.

A great deal of research suggests we part ways with the inactive, stationary, pre-exercise stretching routines many of us grew up doing in favor of a more active, movement- based approach.  Forcing muscles to stretch before blood flow, muscle temperature, and coordination has been temporarily increased may actually INCREASE the likelihood you will get injured from an exercise program.

Most experts recommend at least 5-10 minutes of an active warm-up that combines both general and specific exercises. Spending a few minutes performing a general warm-up consisting of jumping jacks, light jogging, shuffling, skipping, and other upper and lower body movements functions to get blood and oxygen to the muscles while increasing core temperature. It also wakes up the brain and gets it ready to perform.

Brett Klika, CEO of SPIDERfit Kids (www.spiderfitkids.com) is an award winning personal trainer, author, and international motivational speaker inspiring men, women, and children around the world to create a culture of wellness in their home and live the best version of their life.  To contact Brett with questions or comments at brett@spiderfitkids.com.

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