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The Importance of Warm Up Exercises
About to crush a heart-pumping workout? That’s awesome—but we hope you’re planning to warm up first. After all, the importance of warming up before exercise cannot be overstated. Not only does it facilitate better movement, but it is a crucial step to remaining safe at the gym and avoiding injuries.
To understand more about the benefits of a warm-up before exercise, read on. We’ll talk about why warming up is important and give suggestions for ways you can incorporate this practice into your own fitness routine. If you come away with any lingering questions about warming up, please get in touch with our team! We’d be happy to guide you through some stretches and moves to make sure your next sesh is safe and successful.
Understanding the Purpose and Importance of Warming Up
We get it. You’re a busy athlete with only a limited time frame to work out—is a warm-up really always necessary? When you have a narrow window of time to crush your workout, warm-ups might seem easy enough to skip. After all, they’re just stretches and little exercises! The real workout comes after, right?
Sure, the more challenging parts of a workout come after your warm-up. But that doesn’t mean you should forgo your warm-up routine, even if you’re busy and only have a limited time to work out. While skipping your warm-up may seem to save you time, it could have consequences that are far more inconvenient than a few minutes of stretching.
The gentle movements in warm-ups are enough to get your blood flowing, release endorphins, and elevate your heart rate. This will prepare you physically and mentally for the intensity of your workout, whether you’re running a marathon, lifting weights, crushing a HIIT sesh, or engaging in another fitness activity. If you choose to suddenly jump into these movements without a warm-up, your body will be unprepared. That can result in a difficult workout or even an injury.
Benefits of Incorporating Warm-up Exercises into Your Fitness Routine
Are there benefits of warming up before exercise? You bet there are! Below, we have listed some of the most important and exciting benefits of a warm-up before exercise.
Benefits of a Warm-up
It Helps Avoid Injury
Let’s say you buy a bunch of protein bars in bulk and put them in the freezer. When you grab one out of the freezer to eat, it’ll be solid as a rock. If you try to bite it, it will be too hard to eat. If you try to bend it, it will snap in two. However, if you take it out of the freezer a few hours before eating it, all of those problems will disappear. You could bite it or bend it without risking anything breaking or snapping.
The same idea applies to your body. If your muscles aren’t warmed up, they’ll be more similar to that frozen protein bar: stiff and easier to injure. If they’ve been warmed up, they will be more similar to the defrosted protein bar: pliable and ready for action. This makes for a better, safer workout with way less risk of injury!
It Creates a Routine
Routine is important. Without a solid workout routine, many athletes lose motivation and end up letting their fitness journey falter. Warming up can create a flow that helps facilitate a fitness routine. Even on days when there is less motivation, athletes can begin with a “modified” workout of only warm-ups and then choose if they wish to continue with a full routine. Most often, the warm-up sesh will get athletes into the zone, and they’ll choose to continue their full workout.
It Prepares Your Mind and Body
Your warm-up session is your time to get in the zone for your workout. This happens both mentally and physically. Physically, you will be gradually bringing your heart rate up, making for an easier transition when you begin smashing your full workout. Mentally, you will also have time to prepare yourself for the workout ahead. Plus, your body will start releasing endorphins during your warm-up, which will make you feel great and more motivated to crush your workout!
Different Types of Warm-up Exercises and How to Perform Them
The world of warming up is a vast one. There are dozens of different warm-ups and pre-workout routines that athletes can try, depending on their own needs.
We highly recommend chatting with your coach about your unique fitness goals and workout preferences to help determine which warm-ups could best suit your health and exercise journey. In the meantime, here are some basic warm-ups that the Jack City Fitness coaches swear by:
FAST Hip Rocks
Common Mistakes to Avoid During Warm-up Exercises
First of all, let’s be clear about something: the biggest warm-up mistake out there is skipping it! That being said, warm-ups, like all forms of exercise, must be performed properly to actually benefit athletes rather than cause harm.
Here are a few common warm-up mistakes and our advice on how to avoid them:
Choosing the Wrong Exercise
Lots of movements and stretches can be great forms of warm-ups, but not all of them are. Typically, the best warm-ups consist of some light dynamic and aerobic exercise. They should slightly elevate your pulse and get your oxygen flowing but should not feel like an entire intense workout on their own.
If a warm-up is too quick, it may not be effective in its job of preparing your body for exercise and preventing injury. If it goes on for too long, your body might become fatigued and unable to complete your whole workout. That’s why 5-10 minutes is the ideal warm-up time frame.
Going Too Hard
Remember, it’s a warm-up, not your actual workout. If you hit your warm-up harder than necessary, you could end up injured, which defeats its entire purpose. This can also cause unnecessary fatigue during your actual workout. Remember, slow but steady wins the race . . . at least when it’s a warm-up race.
Designing an Effective Warm-up Routine for Your Workouts
Now that you know why warming up is important, it’s time to hit the gym and put it into practice. We’re here to help! At Jack City Fitness, our impressive crew of personal training coaches is ready to help you develop a customized warm-up and exercise routine to help you smash all your health goals. That includes helping you select the best warm-up routines for your unique needs. We’ll ensure that all your warm-ups help you progress toward BIG RESULTS!
Ready to start warming up? Get in touch with our team by calling (208) 999-1111. We’ll invite you to our Boise gym for a FREE fitness consultation, a tour of the facility, and a chance to ask all your big questions. Once you sign up to become a Partner, you’ll have immediate 24/7 access to our entire fitness center, including classes, private coaching, amazing amenities and equipment, and more. We can’t wait to show you around and help you crush all your fitness goals.