While a general warm-up can help trigger big muscle groups, some forms of exercises require special warm-up exercises to fully prepare the body for the level of exertion it will go through.
You cannot use the same set of warm-up exercises for your kettlebell routine if you'll be running 10 miles up the mountain. This is because you won't be using the same muscle groups for each workout. Furthermore, the amount of physical strain on your body will also be different. With that in mind, it's important to have unique warm-up routines for specific types of workouts.
For cardio and aerobic exercise, you’ll have to do dynamic stretches for five to ten minutes. You should also incorporate movements that slowly increase your breathing and heart rate which will help your endurance throughout your actual work out.
Do some squats, calf raises, jumping jacks, and lunges prior to running, swimming, or hopping on a cardio machine. Then start your actual workout slowly yet steadily at first before switching into high gear. If you’ll be running, brisk walk for a few minutes first. If you’ll be going in a spin bike or treadmill, start with a lower cadence. If you’ll be swimming, start with a slow yet consistent stroke rate.
The goal for your cardio warm-up is to get your heart rate up at a steady pace so you won't get tired easily.
If you’ll be partaking in HIIT, it’s important that your joints and muscles are thoroughly warmed up to avoid injury and to properly increase your heart rate. This type of workout can be very taxing for your body. Moreover, it targets the whole body so you need to activate all the muscle groups in preparation for your work out.
Full body stretches will help your balance and coordination. Furthermore, body weight exercises like jump squats, high knees, jogging in place, jumping jacks, and lunges help with preparing your muscles and cardiovascular system for what’s to come in your routine.
Warm up exercises for strength training allows you to avoid muscle injury. It also loosens the tissues around your joints so you have a fuller and wider range of motion when you lift your weights.
Take ten minutes prior to your actual weight lifting regimen for your warm-up exercises. You can start by running on the treadmill for a few minutes so you can get your body moving. After this, stretch the specific muscle groups you’ll be training for that day. Do some arm circles and trunk twists or lunges and mountain climbers. Some foam rolling will also be helpful.
After that. Star with a warm up set of lifting light weights to gently prepare your joints for the full set you’ll be doing. 16 repetitions will be sufficient enough for this purpose.
A warm-up is a crucial part of your workout routine. It not only prepares your body for what’s to come in your workout regimen but it also conditions your mind so you perform better throughout the duration of your exercise.
Sure, it adds a few more minutes to your work out but it also ensures that your heart and lungs are protected and that your muscles and joints are able to perform to their fullest potential.
Do you have any favorite warm-up routines? Don't forget to share it with us!