Health & Wellness Tips

by Maria Simpson |

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Being an athlete, dancer and fitness specialist my entire life, I have had my experience with warm ups. I’ve seen people do things in the wrong order, the wrong type for their workout, or just skip them all together.

My husband had asked me to write about ways to prevent injuries during a workout and this felt like a good part one to that topic.

Weight Lifting:

When lifting weights you are trying to recruit all of your muscle fibers in the muscle group you are targeting, putting weight on hinge joints and moving slowly through your exercise.

A warm up set is not what you should be relying on. Banded warm ups are the best for this type of training, and its not girly one bit. When using the bands, you are building heat in that muscle and the joint.

There is an increase of blood flow and the slow tension gives each fiber an opportunity to activate. This mimics what the weight load will be doing to your muscles and joints during your lift. Be sure to start light and build to a stronger one because remember.. its a warm up.

This slow activation under tension also warms up your core and that is one muscle people forget to warm up….its the muscle group that is involved with every movement. I like to add in planks to the end of the warm up to ensure that you have fully brought enough heat to the core.

Once you have done this warm up , you can move on to your warmup sets before each exercise.

HIIT and Circuit Training:

These exercises usually are multi plane, joint and muscle group movements. To properly warm up for this kind of workout you would be better suited to do a Dynamic Warm Up.

This type of warmup gently stretches the muscles wile bringing blood flow and heat to them. You might remember in gym class doing them, movements such as jumping jacks, walking knee ups, high knees, leg swings, skipping and trunk rotations.

There are plenty more and as you get more familiar with it, you will be able to know what ones will suit your exact routine that day. Again, planks at the end for an optimal core warm up. You can also add in some banded warmup moves as well if you have the time.

Cardio:

To warm up for cardio you should be doing an easy walk or cycle followed by a gentle stretch.

Do not fully stretch due to it leaving your joints vulnerable to hyper extension ( especially when your getting fatigued and get lazy with your stride ..ouch!)

When it comes to warming up for any of your workouts you should not run. Running will deplete your glycogen depending on how long you run. You do not wat to burn off any of your glycogen if you’re looking to have a strong workout.

Glycogen is your body’s preferred energy source and strongest, once you run and burn through it you will be left with fat to burn as energy, Fat as an energy source is much weaker then glycogen and if you are someone who runs before lifting or doing circuits, you might notice you’re having cruddier workouts, or might even think you’re weaker then you really are. If you want to run, do it after your workout to burn fat and help your cardiovascular system. Why not have the best of both worlds?