Clay Henderson, CSCS Coach
Before the sun rises or after a long day, you drag yourself to the gym no matter your mood – excited or grumpy. You have this discipline because fitness is a priority and missing a workout (aside from rest days) always hurts more than suffering through a doozy of a session. Once you arrive you are ready to getter’ done with no time to spare. Under a time crunch you feel something has to give. Unfortunately, this is usually the warm-up. Big mistake! Just by doing a warm-up you can greatly improve performance each session. Better performance over time = better gainz!
Learn why and what it does it for you
It is hard to have the drive to do something if we do not see the benefits. So, lets dive in and give you a reason to never skip the warm-up again. Like grandma always said, “breakfast is the most improvement meal of the day”, the warm-up is the most important part of the workout.
- Physiologically prepares us for greater demand on the body
- Raises core temperature
- Elevates heart rate
- Gets the joints loose and the muscles ready to fire
- Prepares our mind for a great session.
- Prevents injury
The two main reasons to emphasize warming up are injury prevention and increased performance, which go hand-in-hand.
How to properly warm-up
Start with a general warm-up to elevate the heart and get the blood going. Run an 800 or go through 5 minutes of dynamic stretches. There are countless things you can do. The purpose is simple; get moving.
After you get the blood flow, then you can stretch to gain mobility. Remember that order – movement then stretch. Stretching cold muscles is a bad idea that could even lead to injury. To get any positive effect from stretching, the muscles have to be warmed up.
Now we are warmed up and mobilized it is time to go into a specific warm-up relative to the exercises in your workout. If todays big move is deadlifting start with good-mornings to activate the posterior chain, then start your deadlifts slowly progressing the load.
Take the time to warm-up. Your body will thank you and I doubt you’ll mind the gains!