Every day thousands of people hit the gym to get stronger, healthier and feel better about themselves. While taking the steps to get off the couch and get active is already a move in the right direction, many people skip a key component of any good workout, warming up.
Were all guilty of being busy and rushing through our daily tasks, including the gym, without much thought, but who knew that skipping the warm up might actually be harmful to our bodies?
Why is warming up so crucial?
Think of your muscles as rubber bands, when they’re not used they’re tight and rigid. Combine that with cold weather and you add stiff joints and further constricted muscles. Now you go to the gym and start lifting or hit the treadmill and start running. Those bands snap, they can’t handle the harsh force.
Many people will stand and perform isolated static stretches and the truth is, this can actually rob your muscles of their strength and power and impair your performance. Static stretches not only decrease your performance but do not reduce the chance of injury or warm up your body and muscles.
So what does a proper warm up look like?
A dynamic warm up is the way to go. Dynamic warm ups get the blood flowing, the nervous system activated and the body ready for your workout. When your body is properly warmed up, you increase blood circulation, activate your central nervous system and ensures that your muscles are ready for action. This keeps your muscles strong and reduces the chance of injury while maximizing results.
Heres an example of a proper dynamic warm up:
- 2 minutes of jump rope
- 30 jumping jacks
- 15 squats (ensure you’re sitting back and pushing up through your heels)
- 10 forward leg swings (swing leg back and forth)
- 10 side leg swings (with hands on hips, swing leg cross your body)
- 10 forward shoulder rotations (arm circles starting off small and getting bigger- rotation forwards)
- 10 backwards shoulder rotations (arm circles starting off small and getting bigger – rotating backwards)
- 5 hip rotations for each leg (lift your leg up to 90 degrees and outward)
Give it a shot before your next workout and be sure to let us know how you feel or if you have any questions!
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