August 21, 2018
Workout Advice

Five Key Elements of an Effective Warm-Up

Five Tips for Perfecting your Warm-Up

Whether your workout involves lifting weights, a 5k run on the treadmill or an intense spin class, you should always ensure you complete a safe and efficient warm-up, that prevents injuries and helps you get in the zone.

But what’s the ideal way to warm up? Although it’s going to look different depending on the nature of your workout, experts agree that a warm-up should heat and loosen the body, and prepare the mind for action. This guide provides the five key aspects necessary for a warm-up routine.

Use Dynamic Mobility

Dynamic mobility involves the body being able to move in multiple directions safely. The term may sound like a fancy word for flexibility, however, dynamic mobility includes moments that promote blood flow rather than just static stretching. As for static stretching, researchers recommend that you leave it for the cool-down. Numerous studies have shown that it can hinder performance and increase the risk of injury.

Dynamic mobility movements include moves such as arm circles or leg swings against a wall. When doing your movements make sure to work both the upper and lower body.

Activate Muscles Used in Your Workout

Integrate “movement specific preparation” into your warm-up, which will activate the muscles that will be used in your workout. For example, if you’re thinking about doing back squats – warm-up using bodyweight squats or by holding an empty bar. This teaches muscle memory and will prepare your body for the action it’s about to undertake.

 Warm-up your Core Temperature

They don’t call it a “warm-up” for nothing. Your warm-up should increase your core temperature and get your heart pumping. By doing this, you will increase the blood flow to your body; making the muscles more flexible and inevitably prevent instances of straining. Perfect examples of this include jogging slowly or riding a bike on low resistance, but make sure you don’t go too hard, save that for your workout!

Practice Coordination

By integrating movements into your warm-up that use all three planes of motion, you can minimise the chances of issues caused by losing your balance during your workout and prevent injuries that may occur from this.

Try balancing movements, such as standing on one foot and touching your hands behind your back with your eyes closed.

Make it Fun!

If your warm-up is fun and engaging, you’re more likely to remember to fit it in, which will significantly reduce the risk of injury.

Come into Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre where we have all the equipment, classes and trained professionals on hand to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Click here to sign up.