Is it important to warm up before your gym session? It’s an important question and warming up before your session definitely brings with is tonnes of benefits.
Add a warm up to your session
A good warm up will not only raise your heart rate and get the blood flowing around your body, but prepare you for activity. It only has to last a couple of minutes, and you don’t have to do tireless amounts of cardio to be well warmed up. Even five minutes on a cardiovascular machine of your choice or lighter, less intense sets of the exercise you’re going to perform is a great warm up to wake your body up.
Why warm up?
There’s loads of benefits to adding a warm up at the start of your session, including:
- Increased blood and oxygen to the muscles that are in use.
- Dilated blood vessels to pump blood easier.
- Less stress on the heart to pump blood through the system.
- Lessen your risk of injury.
- Helps reduce muscle soreness.
How should you warm up?
A quick blast of 3-5 minutes on any cardio machine is an effective way of getting the blood flowing around your muscles and body, followed by dynamic stretching on the muscles you’re planning to use in the session.
Warm up sets
A little bit different from a general warm up, a warm up set is usually a set or two of the exercise you’re going to be performing in the workout. You’ll use a lighter weight and less intensity, but this is a good way to get into the rhythm of the exercise, using the correct tempo and getting used to the movement pattern. For example, if more blood is needed in the chest for an exercise, the best way to get it pumping is by contracting the muscle repeatedly with a lighter weight.
Your guide to warm ups
Use this handy guide next time you’re warming up before your session.
|Perform one/two light sets of the exercise.|
|Press out||10 reps each or 15s|
|Press up||10 reps each or 15s|
|Swings forward||10 reps each or 15s|
|Swings back||10 reps each or 15s|
|Circles each way, with both arms||10 reps each or 15s|
|Squats||10 reps each or 15s|
|Single leg in and out straight||10 reps each or 15s|
|Single leg in and out across||10 reps each or 15s|
|Single leg in and out wide||10 reps each or 15s|