A warm up can help you prevent injury and improve your performance in the gym. Let us see some good warm up methods you can use before your workouts.
Some people must have told you that a warm up is important before a workout. While some others may tell you that it’s not that important.
Let me show you why a warm-up is important to help you prevent injury as well as help you gain more muscle and strength.
And you don’t need to spend a lot of time on the treadmill or stretching to really get warmed up. With the help of the correct methods, you can be done with your effective warm-up in a very short period of time.
Most people think that a warm-up helps prevent injury because it increases the temperature of your muscles.
And once your muscles are “warm” enough there will be a lesser potential of injuring them and tearing them.
However, there is not much evidence to suggest that increasing the temperature of your muscles will prevent injury.
How a warm-up can help you prevent injury is that it can help you improve your technique for an exercise.
And the better your technique and form on an exercise, the lower is your risk of injury.
So, if you perform heavy compound movements like the bench press, squat, deadlifts, etc, it is very good when you warm-up using those very same movements with lower weight.
This will help you improve your form on these exercises before you start lifting the heavy weight. And can help you avoid injury.
This is especially useful later on when you start lifting some really serious weight that can be several times more than your body weight. Having a good form is absolutely crucial when you do so to lower your risk of injury.
When you warm-up your muscles, two things happen.
One is that the warmed up muscles find it easier to contract. And the second is that a warm-up increases the blood flow to your muscles.
And the second is that a warm-up increases the blood flow to your muscles. This means that your muscles can get more oxygen and nutrients to expend more energy.
So as you can see after a warm-up, your muscles are in the best condition to start lifting weights with high intensity.
And this is the optimal way in which your muscles can gain strength. And the more strength your muscles can gain, the more size they can gain as well with the help of progressive overload.
You may see that many people spend a lot of time on the treadmill as they try to warm-up.
As we have already seen, just heating up your muscles is not going to do much to prevent your muscles from getting injured.
Rather, you should be warming up with the exercises that you will, later on, be performing as part of your workout.
Just that when you warm up you should use a lighter weight to perform a few sets to get your form and technique sorted out.
Another mistake that many people do is that they spend a lot of time in the warm-up. They will spend time on the treadmill, do stretching exercises, then mobility exercises, etc.
This is a waste of time and you don’t need to spend a lot of time doing a warm-up routine.
Even if you are performing your workout movements with light weight as part of your workouts, you may be doing too many sets and reps.
This will exhaust your body and you will not have the optimal strength to perform your workouts.
So be careful of the number of reps and sets that you will perform as part of your warm-up.
Some people spend a lot of time stretching before their workout as they consider it to be the best way to warm-up.
As we have seen, performing the regular exercise movements with lighter weights is the way to go when it comes to warming up.
Stretching does not help your muscles prevent injury. Instead, too much stretching may actually cause your muscles to fatigue and decrease your performance in the gym.
A little bit of stretching could be used if you feel that it helps your body adjust to the correct position for movements like the squat, bench press, etc.
So now we know that the most optimal way to warm up is to warm up the muscles that you will be using during your workout.
Any of your warm ups should consist of performing the exercises with relatively lower weights for a few sets.
So if you are going to perform the bench press then you should warm up with a bench press. If you are working out legs and going to perform squats then you should warm up with squats.
Such a warm up will help you focus on your form and technique before your actual lifts. And this will help you lower your risk of injury and perform the exercise with optimal movements so that you can maximize muscle and strength gains.
One of the methods that I have used in the past is to start off with a relatively lower weight, say about 30% of your actual workout weight and then perform a set with 10 reps.
Then increase the weight to about 50% of your actual workout weight and then perform another couple of sets with 10 reps. Try to keep a minutes rest between each set.
Another method that I have recently used is to use about 50% of the actual workout weight and perform 3 sets each of 5 reps without any rest in between. Then start performing the actual workout sets.
I got this idea from the 5×5 beginner workout program.
That is all you need to do to warm up your muscles before you actually start working out.
And once you have warmed up for a particular exercise like squats then you don’t need to warm up again if you are performing another leg exercise like lunges. This helps you save a lot of time as your warm ups tend to be short and sweet.
I hope this post has helped you understand why performing a warm up is useful when you want to protect yourself from injury and maximize muscle and strength gains.
You don’t need to warm up by spending a lot of time on the treadmill to heat up your muscles. As we have seen, this is not the optimal way to warm up.
Instead, you should warm up using the same exercises that you are going to perform as part of your workouts but with a relatively lower weight.
Such a warm up will help you focus on proper form and technique. This will help lower your risk of injury and help you perform the exercises optimally for maximum muscle and strength gains.
If you have any questions about warm ups, please comment below and I will be glad to help.
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