What is the importance of warm up? Should I do a warm up or can I skip it? We understand the dilemma.
Let’s face it, in our busy lifestyle we make that “extra” time for exercise and the temptation to skip warm up and jump straight into a workout is natural. But exercising without a proper warm up can increase your risk of injury to muscles and tendons.
Warm up exercises helps our body to transition from an inactive to an active state while preparing our muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments and neuromuscular system for a workout.
Do you need a warmup before your workout?
Yes, you should perform a warmup session before your actual workout session. An adequate warm up should prepare your joints, muscles, tendons and neuromuscular system for your workout by increasing your heart rate, body temperature and blood flow to the working muscles.
How long should I do warm up?
Warming up should not be so long that it becomes a workout or a session on its own. In general, the warm up should be between 10 and 15 minutes.
At what intensity should I perform warm ups?
Warm up intensity should be progressive. Start your warm up with a low intensity and gradually increase the intensity to approximately 50–90% of maximum heartrate. In sports such as sprinting, the warm up should end with tasks of maximum intensity upto 90% of the maximum heartrate to induce the PAP effect.
How do you choose your warmup exercises?
Choose exercises that mimics the main activity or prepare the individual for a specific task of the sport. For example if you are going to perform barbell squat as your main workout, then performing few reps of bodyweight squats could be a ideal warm up activity.
What are the benefits of warmup?
Warm up prior to the start of physical activities is very common and it offers both performance enhancement and injury prevention. The following are the 10 main benefits of performing a warm up prior to physical activity.
- Warm up increases body temperature leading to improved vasodilation and better delivery of oxygen to working muscles.
- Warm up elevates muscle temperature also represented as Tmuscle. As a result, exercise performance improves due to increased muscle glycogen availability, higher ATP turnover and improved muscle fibre functionality.
- Muscle viscosity is reduced, producing an improvement in mechanical efficiency.
- Muscles are able to exert more force after an appropriate warm up because of increased neuromuscular facilitation.
- Warm up induced vasodilation delivers necessary substrates to the exercising muscles which lowers the accumulation of metabolic by-products such as lactic acid.
- Nerve impulses travel faster and the sensitivity of the nerve receptors is improved. This results in lower reaction times and improvement in balance, coordination and general nervous system functions.
- Improved cardiovascular response to strenuous exercise.
- Joints are lubricated with synovial fluid resulting in increased range of movement and reduced wear and tear of joints and tendons.
- Adequate warm up prevents injury to the muscles (pulls and tears), tendons, ligaments and connective tissues.
- Warm up prepares an individual psychologically for an upcoming event by providing time to concentrate on the task ahead.
How can I warm up at home?
Most warm up exercises are performed using your own body weight and does not require sophisticated equipment. Often, having a mat is more than sufficient to perform a simple warm up routine. Try these5 bodyweight warm up exercises which can be performed either at home, outdoors or at a gym.
Check out our compilation of 5 best beginner warm up routine in this video
Can I skip warm up?
Warm-up is commonly accepted as fundamental priming practice in sports and exercise world. Warm up has been lauded by health professionals as a means to optimize performance. Many researches have shown that activities when performed without a warm-up can lead to muscle tightness associated with strains to muscles and tendons. Furthermore, performing highly intense or vigorous activity without a warm up can also result in injury which can be detrimental to an individual’s fitness endeavours.
I hope this article explained the importance of warm up. If you are looking for consistent exercise performance and reap the benefits of your exercise program, it’s important to take few minutes to warm up.