A few months ago, I wrote an article about the importance of warming up before teeing it up on the golf course. Way too often, I see people trying to squeeze in a workout, skipping or just completely forgetting the warm-up because they feel the main movement is more important. When in fact, the warm-up is the most important part of a workout. Why is warming up so important? Also, what constitutes a good warm-up?
A warm-up serves three major purposes; increased body temperature, increased performance and injury prevention. A proper warm-up gradually increases heart rate and circulation. This allows for an increase in body temperature and blood flow to the muscles. The increase in body temperature and blood flow loosens up the joints and contributes to better muscle contractions. All of these factors contribute to an increase in physical and mental performance. Warming up also plays a major role in injury prevention. In fact, studies show that muscle tears occur more often when muscles are cold and not warmed up. With that being said, what does a good warm- up consists of?
Warm-ups need to be specific to the activity being performed. However, it’s important that the warm-up consists of exercises that prepare the entire body for activity. I suggest starting your warm-up from the head down. Below is an example of a warm-up I use almost daily:
- Neck Circles
- Arm Circles
- Reach Backs
- Trunk Circles
- Toe Touches
- Standing Hip Cars
- Glute Bridges
My warm-up exercises are preformed as dynamic movements. I suggest that you do the same for it prepares the muscles better for exercise and decreases your risk of injury. Normally, I don’t put a set time on my warm-ups. I normally have a set rep scheme consisting of two sets of six reps. This is what I have found to work best for me.
There is really no excuse to skip warming up! A proper warm-up will increase your performance, decrease your risk of injury and increase your body temperature.