A warmup is a lot like flossing. We all know we SHOULD be doing it, but it can often be neglected.
It is important to create an effective warmup to prepare muscles and cardiovascular system so that we can start a workout at a higher intensity and not get injured. The main goal of creating an effective warm up is to increase the blood flow and temperature of muscles. When you warm up properly, it influences the quality of the workout. It creates faster muscle contractions, reaction time, and increased blood and oxygen flow to active muscle. The components of a good warmup include general and specific movements. The general movements can include 3-5 minutes of slower activity such as walking, jogging, or some type of cardio. The main goal is to increase heart rate and get blood pumping throughout your body.
Second is the specific warmup, which can range from around 5-10 minutes. The goal of this is to prepare the body for more complicated or specific movements. When I say specific, I mean specific to whatever the workout entails. So, if the workout is a Zumba class, you will do some Zumba moves but at a lower tempo and intensity than the workout itself. Or if the workout includes heavy chest press, you will want to do a couple reps of light chest press or some modified pushups to get ready for that specific movement. This helps to increase the strength and range of motion within the joints.
So, do your warmup. It may not look cool or get you any Instagram followers, but it will make you perform better and help prevent injury. Start with a couple minutes of cardio to get your heart rate up. Then do a couple minutes of movements that relate to whatever exercises you will doing. Boom, your warm and ready to start your workout at 100%.
If you are not comfortable working out on your own or if you have any questions about warming up, please reach out to a member of the Trivida team.
-Andy Adams, B.S., CSCS, Pn1