The proper warm up should increase your core body temperature and help increase blood flow to your muscles. This will help prepare your body for strenuous exercise by stimulating the nervous system. It will also activate muscle groups and improve joint mobility and flexibility. Using the correct warm up sequence for your workout can even increase your muscle’s ability to produce force and power.
The Best Warm-Up Exercises
There is actually no set warmup routine that can be considered “the best.” Your plan should be to warm up specifically for whatever activity you are working on that day. This means your warm ups should change with every workout.
As a rule of thumb:
- use the correct stretches to go through the range of motion that you’re going to be working through in your workout that day
- reinforce proper movement patterns
- it should last anywhere between five to fifteen minutes
Not warming up can pose a risk for injury, so take the time to research the dynamic moves and stretches that are specific to your workout before you head out to the gym.
5 Key Components of a Strong Pre-Workout Routine
The video I’ve included in this article is my latest Youtube video created to help you increase your mobility and range of motion in order to execute a precise and powerful roundhouse kick. You can use this video as both a dynamic warm up and as a progression workout to increase coordination and balance, to practice precise placement of your feet and to maximize the height of your kick.
For all other workouts, you can create your own warm-up routines by following these guidelines:
- Raise your pulse —think three to five minutes of aerobic exercise (walk, bike, jog, skip rope) to get your blood pumping.
- Use controlled dynamic sequences—for leg days think leg swings, hip rotations, inchworms and other lower body movements. For upper body days, go for torso rotations, dive-bomber push-ups and arm and shoulder rotations.
- Incorporate minimal static stretching—static stretches are best for after your workout, since static stretching before your workout can lead to poor workout performance according to research. However, there are one or two sport specific static stretches that can help increase your range of motion for a particular workout. i.e. 20 second quad or calf stretches for runners.
- Run through sport specific skill drills—i.e. Shooting, dribbling and passing drills for ball sports. For weightlifting, do warm-up sets of no weight or lower weight and resistance before you increase load and volume.
Static or Dynamic: What’s the Difference?
Keep in mind that dynamic stretching is used to improve mobility (often done in the manner of the activity or sport that is going to be performed) while static stretching requires that you hold the stretch without moving (usually the muscle is at the end of its range).
Although there is no long-term evidence of direct harm from static stretching prior to a workout, you will temporarily decrease your ability to produce force. Whereas dynamic stretching has been shown to significantly increase the ability of your muscles to produce force, according to a 2005 study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Times have changed, you no longer hold 15 stretches for 20-60 seconds each before jumping into a rigorous workout. The proper warm up can have huge implications for improved muscular performance throughout a muscle’s entire range-of-motion—all the while protecting the body’s joints during activity.
To staying positively strong, powerful, and flexible,