How to warm up

How To Warm Up: Prevent Injury And Perform To Your Best

Amon Fearon - July 02, 2021

Warming up helps to transition your body from a state of rest to intense exercise. When you start to warm up, you switch on your cardiovascular system, which allows your heart rate to rise, and you begin to stretch out your muscles which improves their elasticity.

Not working out can result in injury, pulled or sore muscles, or other issues. As such, working out can make all the difference to your workout.

Benefits of a warm up

Warming up offers these benefits:

Reduced pain - Increased blood flow to your muscles will increase the temperature of the joints, which can help to resolve joint-related pain during exercise.

Improved performance - Warm muscles and increased blood flow allows your muscles to contract quicker with greater force, meaning you can output with greater strength and power. 

A training boost - Warm-ups should also be considered to be a training stimulus when performed correctly. They can provide a great opportunity to work on skill-based movements, correct imbalances and strengthen muscles.

What you do and how you start any exercise is important. Different moves can be better suited to different workouts. Some activities require a dynamic range of motion while others focus more on static strength and conditioning.

How to warm up for weight training

Lifting - An intense activity for a few muscle groups at a time. Because the risk of injury is high during this type of exercise, you will want to focus on preparing your muscles during your warm-up to prevent injuries. You can prepare muscles for lifting with a few minutes of light cardiovascular exercising, such as jogging on a treadmill, or warming up using lighter weights; doing this will prevent injuries by lifting too much too soon, and will also prime the muscles that you will use during a strength training workout. 

How to warm up for a run

Running - In a similar way you should prepare your muscles before you begin running. Start with light stretching of the calves, quads, hamstrings, as well as the upper body. Also work on the feet and knees and all joints involved. Then walk at a high pace to get your heart rate going and prime your leg muscles to get ready for running. 

How long should your warm-up be?

The more intense the activity, the longer the warm-up. For some activities, (running, walking, cycling, etc.) perform this at a slower pace (jog, walk slowly). For other types (weights) 5 to 10 minutes is typically sufficient to ready your body for movement.

Type of Warm up: which one is best?

The two main types of warmups are dynamic and static. A dynamic warmup gets your muscles loose for your workout. Dynamic movements help increase the temperature of the working muscles, working toward emulating the movement patterns of your workout. So if you are going to squat for example, then you need to perform warm-up sets instead of jumping straight into the working load. 

A static movement involves stretching to elongate the muscle. This may consist of a few rounds of static stretches prior to exercise, but is generally used in conjunction with a dynamic warm-up. This type of warm-up prepared your muscles for work and movement, making it an easy transition into a dynamic warm-up or light workout. 

As well as the warm-ups themselves, you want to ensure you have the kit that’ll allow for unlimited movement to do them in, without worry of restriction or discomfort. See the running clothing and gym clothes collections that’ll get you from from warm-up to cool-down, and help you perform to your best.