How to Warm Up for Your Workouts
When you step into the gym, how do you start your workout routine? Do you go right into it, or do you warm-up? Most of us just skip a warm up because well, it may seem boring, and it takes time out of our workouts. When you only have 30 minutes to get a good workout in, even a brief warm-up sounds like too much. Truth is, warming up before your workout can help your performance tremendously.
Why You Should Warm Up
A good warm up will gradually increase your heart rate and circulation to your muscles while mentally preparing you for your workout. If you allow your body to warm up 5-10 minutes prior to starting your fitness routine (for example; jogging in place), your heart rate slowly rises. Your muscles warm up to prevent injury because your ligaments become more flexible. A good warm up prior to your workout also prepares your body mentally by aiding you to ease into your workout. This is helpful for you during intense workouts because it increases your endurance, which can help you get through the toughest part of your workout.
There is not just one “right” way to warm up for your workouts. There are many different exercises that you can perform to get your heart rate going!
- Jump Around - If you have a short time for your workout, a few minutes of jumping rope will increase your heart rate and body temperature.
- Use the Medicine Ball - Any gym you walk into, you will most likely see a medicine ball lying around somewhere. Use the medicine ball in your exercise routine to help you warm up. There are many exercises that can be done to help you warm up. Here are a couple for you to try out!
Russian Twists Lie down on the floor with your feet flat on the ground and legs bent at the knees. Elevate your upper body and fully extend your arms in front of you holding a medicine ball with both hands.
Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel to the floor. Hold the contraction for a second and move back to starting position. Apply the same technique moving to the opposite side, and repeat.
Pick up the medicine ball with both of your hands and put it out to one side of your head. You need to stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and slowly move the ball in a constant motion forming the number 8.
Complete 10 repetitions (or how many you desire) then repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.
- Squats and Lunges - You can never go wrong with either one of these exercises! We perform similar movement patterns everyday, from lifting a heavy box off the floor or climbing up the stairs. These exercises can help increase your body temperature, improve joint range of motion, and reduce your risk of injury.
- Swinging Movements - Performing exercises that involve swinging can help loosen your muscles and joints. It can help your body prepare for any heavy resistance training. Here are some great exercises that I like to use for my warm ups.
Front to Back Leg Swings
Stand next to a chair or other support, holding on with one hand. Swing your leg forward while keeping your leg straight. Continue with a downward swing while bringing your leg as far back as your flexibility allows. Try doing about 10 repetitions before switching to your other leg.
While standing, bring your arms straight out to your sides. Slowly start to make circles about 1-ft. in diameter with each arm (keeping them straight). Continue for about 10-15 seconds then repeat going in the opposite direction.
One of the many reasons I enjoy working out at 9Round is because any exercises I start off with is essentially my warm up. Whether it’s jumping rope on Round 1 or performing mountain climbers with bicep curls on Round 2, it always gets my heart rate going to prepare me for the intense workout ahead.
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