Is warming up important before training?
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Warming up before a workout is extremely important, not just for beginners, but for everyone, at all stages of their training journey!
A lot of people usually skip the warm-up, find it too time-consuming, and get straight into their workout – however, if you’re reading this thinking, ‘yep, that’s me’, you may be missing a trick…
Why should I warm up?
1. Reduces the risk of injury
Whether you’re injury-prone or have never had an injury before, both types of people benefit from warming up. As you start to move, your blood vessels start to dilate – meaning that your muscles get sent a good supply of oxygen, preparing your body for the session ahead – smart right?!
2. Improves your performance
Other than your body being super smart, and preparing your muscles for your workout during your warm-up, warm-up activity increases your body temperature. Temperature increase improves your nerve transmission and muscle metabolism, as the body is working harder than usual. In turn, your muscles will be able to perform more efficiently the next time you workout!
3. Mental preparation
A benefit of warming up that isn’t addressed that often, is that your brain becomes focused on the activity you are undertaking, preparing your mind to become even more attentive to the workout ahead of you. In doing this, you’ll be able to improve your skill, co-ordination, and technique for a variety of different workouts you do!
How to warm-up:
Your warm-up doesn’t have to be super intense, or too difficult to the point where you can’t catch your breath! Stretching is a great way to activate your muscles, and to get your body moving! If you train regularly, you’ll notice a difference in your performance if you incorporate stretching into your warm-up, particularly if you have any aches or pains from any previous training sessions. Check out our recent feature on the BD at Home member hub where experienced instructor Deborah Jones guides you through some stretches as part of a 30-minute yoga session here!
Another way of activating your muscles is to incorporate light movement into your warm-up. This could include marching on the spot for 5-10 minutes, alternating between jogging and marching for a total of 10 minutes, or compound movements, such as squats, to target multiple muscle groups dependant on the type of workout you are doing.
How long should I warm-up for?
The answer to this is simple – everyone is different. Everyone's body is unique in many different ways, and for some people, it can take much longer to get the blood flowing, muscles working and joints moving. For others, it can take much less time! If you have achy muscles or sore joints, it is likely to take longer, and perhaps a 15-20 minute long warm-up, where incorporating stretches would be more sufficient. However, if you feel warm and ready to start your workout after 10 minutes, then your body may easily adapt in preparation for the training session ahead!
Once you're all warmed up, you may want to take a look at our strength and conditioning blog, featuring 3 simple exercises to work on core stability, weight training, and more!
Disclaimer: All advice provided in this blog are generic recommendations. If you have any health requirements, please do contact a professional such as a GP or health advisor to personally recommend the best ways for you to warm up / prepare your body for exercise.