- Dr. Eric Carlsen
6 Warmup Exercises to Help Boost Your Workout
If you’re short on time, you may feel tempted to skip a warmup and jump right into your workout. But doing so can increase your risk of injury, and put more strain on your muscles.
When preparing for any kind of exercise, whether it’s a cardio workout, strength training, or a team sport, it’s important to take a few minutes to ease your muscles into exercise mode. Doing so can help you reap many fitness rewards.
Here’s a look at the benefits of warming up and examples of warmup exercises that you can try before kicking your workout into high gear.
What are the benefits of warming up before a workout?
Warmup exercises can help get your body ready for more strenuous activity and make it easier to exercise. Some of the most important benefits of a warmup include:
Increased flexibility. Being more flexible can make it easier to move and exercise correctly.
Lower risk of injury. Warming up your muscles can help them relax which, in turn, can lead to less injury.
Increased blood flow and oxygen. Having more blood flow helps your muscles get the nourishment they need before launching into more intense work.
Improved performance. Studies show that warmed-up muscles can help you work out more effectively.
Better range of motion. Having a greater range of motion can help you move your joints more fully.
Less muscle tension and pain. Muscles that are warm and relaxed may help you move more easily and with less pain or stiffness.
What is a dynamic warmup?
You may have heard of a dynamic warmup and static stretching and wondered how they’re different and when to do them.
A dynamic warmup is done at the start of your workout routine. It’s meant to prime your body to work at a higher intensity.
A dynamic warmup focuses on actions similar to the movements you’ll do while you work out. For instance, you can do movement-based stretching like lunges or squats, or light movements like riding a bicycle or jogging.
Dynamic warmups can help build strength, mobility, and coordination, which can all help improve your workout performance.
What is static stretching?
Static stretching is most effective at the end of your workout. It consists of stretches that are held for a period of time to help lengthen and loosen your muscles and connective tissue. This is different from a dynamic warmup because you keep your body still.
Static stretching can help increase your range of motion and flexibility. Some examples include:
hip flexor stretches
lying hamstring stretch
Click here to watch videos for these stretches
The bottom line
Although often overlooked, warmup exercises are an important part of any exercise routine. Your body needs some kind of activity to get your muscles warmed up before you launch into your workout.
Warming up can help boost your flexibility and athletic performance, and also reduce your chance of injury.
You can either do slower versions of the movements you’ll be doing during your workout, or you can try a variety of warmup exercises, like the ones suggested above.
If you’re new to fitness or have a medical condition or a health concern, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Credit: Healthline Wellness