Is Warming Up Important Before Exercising?

Hello everyone!  The short answer to that is yes, however there’s a lot of information I need to elaborate on behind the answer.  Warming up is basically preparing your body for physical activity.  There are 2 types of warm-ups, one is general and the other is specific.

General Warm-Up

A general warm-up are movements that aren’t specific to the exercises you’re getting ready to perform.  For example, walking around a track or doing jumping jacks before weight training would be considered a general warm-up.

Specific Warm-Up

A specific warm-up are movements that are more closely related to the activity you’re prepping for. Examples of this could be doing push ups or squats before weight or resistance training.

Is Warming Up Important Before Exercising?

 

 

 

Benefits Of A Warm-Up

There are many benefits to a warm-up and they’re listed below.

  1. Increases your cardiorespiratory system’s ability to perform
  2. increases blood flow to muscle tissue
  3. Increases your body’s oxygen level
  4. Increases muscle tissue temperature
  5. Increases rate of muscle contractions
  6. Increases metabolism
  7. Increases flexibility of muscle tissue
  8. Increases mental readiness for activity
  9. Helps prevent injuries

Length Of Warm-Up

A complete warm-up should include a general and specific warm-up.  The total warm-up time should range from a minimum of 5 minutes up to around 10 minutes.  However, it can go longer than 10 minutes, especially if an intense workout is to follow or you haven’t worked out in a long time.  It’s possible for someone first starting out in a workout program to spend half the time of a workout in the warm-up phase.

4 Methods Of Warming Up

There are 4 methods you should use to do a complete warm-up as shown below.

  1. Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) – This is performed using an SMR kit or SMR objects to gently massage muscle groups being used in the workout. For more information on an SMR kit please visit my Reviews page here.
  2. Static Stretching – Holding stretches of the workout muscles involved for 30 seconds or more.
  3. Dynamic Stretching – Warming up the workout muscles involved by moving them through a full range of motion.
  4. Cardiorespiratory Exercise – This could include using the treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical trainer, etc.

Cool-Down

A cool-down provides your body with a smooth transition from activity back to a state of rest.  It’s basically the opposite of a warm-up.  This part of a workout is often overlooked, however it’s just as important as the warm-up or workout itself.  The proper time for a cool-down should last 5-10 minutes.  Two ways to do the cool-down are through SMR and static stretching which I explained above.

Benefits Of A Cool-Down

  1. Blood removes waste by-products from the cells
  2. Reduces muscle soreness
  3. Prevents blood from pooling in the extremities
  4. Helps avoid dizziness and fainting

Is Warming Up Important Before Exercising?

 

 

 

 

Summary – Two extremely important parts of a workout are the warm-up and cool-down. Unfortunately, these areas are often forgotten about because people tend to get too focused on the workout itself.  By completing a thorough warm-up and cool-down you have a better chance of avoiding injury and performing movements better.

For more information on warming up ACE (American Council on Exercise) wrote a great article on it that you can see here.  If you have any questions or comments please feel free to let me know in the comments section. Thanks for your time and don’t forget to warm-up and cool-down! Take care everyone.

Jon


 

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