Warm-Up Exercises- How & Why You Need Them
Learning to use warm-up exercises routinely in your training sessions is crucial especially if you’re love resistance training or running. Working out isn’t something you should just dive into cold however walking on the treadmill for a few minutes doesn’t do the trick either. Learn the best warm-up exercises to use as well as why it’s crucial you warm up every time.
Confession time: I actually hate warm-up exercises. Well, that’s not true, I really just hate the time spent warming up. I always have. It’s one of those mind-numbing things I do because I know I should when in reality my mind is screaming to get started with something more intense. Sad. I know.
It wasn’t until I started lifting significantly heavyweights (follow me on twitter to see me crush my workouts!) that I realized the true value of warm-up exercises. The truth is, you can’t just jump into a 190lbs deadlift with cold or even partially warmed muscles. You’re just asking to tear or herniate something.
Part of my issue with warm-up exercises hatred is that they were so boring. I mean what the hell is the point in jogging on the treadmill for six minutes before moving into my workout? There isn’t one.
Wasting time doing mindless movements on cardio equipment before your workout isn’t overly effective. But that doesn’t mean that using warm-up exercises in general, isn’t a good idea. They need to done properly- to give you an idea check out the video below.
Why You NEED Warm-Up Exercises
Before we jump into how to warm up you need to know why you’re using warm-up exercises. Without this, you’ll avoid using warm-up exercises or half-ass them instead of giving them what they need: serious attention.
Warm-Up Exercises Give You Some Pre-habilitation Work
While you may not want to -admit it, everyone could use some pre-hab. Little warm-up exercises that work our old injuries, our problem areas (like poor shoulder mobility), and areas that we need to be functioning optimally for our workout to come are the most beneficial.
Pre-habilitation exercises help improve movement mechanics and prevent future injuries.
Warming Up Tells The Body What’s To Come
The body doesn’t function well when it’s completely caught off guard. If you’ve just rolled out of bed, sat and checked your Facebook (follow me on Facebook by the way!), and then decided to do some weighted front squats your muscles are going to be confused as hell.. and not in a good way.
Using warm-up exercises with just your bodyweight or resistance bands signals your body (your muscles as well as your central nervous system) that something further is not he way.
And like I mentioned, hanging out on the treadmill doesn’t really accomplish any of the above. Focus on:
- mimicking the movement’s you’ll be performing
- targeting specific joints like the shoulders and hips
- progressing the intensity into your workout
I like to use dynamic movements for this. The biggest aspect to focus on is that your warm-ups should be specific to your workouts.
Meaning, doing bodyweight squats before you bench press isn’t really practical.
Gets Your Blood Flowing
This seems obvious but part of using warm-up exercises is literally that muscles need to be warm before you use them. They don’t like to stretch cold. Getting your blood flowing is the best place to start when thinking of how to warm up before exercising.
If you don’t strength train you may not care about this.. but you should. Using proper warm-ups will help you light more weight sure, but it will also help you achieve running goals and give you the biggest band for your buck from your workout.
Plus, warm-up exercises help keep you injury-free which is necessary for every single mom ever.
Below is a video with a few of my favorite warm-up exercises. These exercises:
- hit all major muscle groups
- target the shoulders and hips
- give a basic idea of basic pre-habilitation exercises for everyday problems (poor upper back and hip mobility).
Are you a runner? Check out my five- minute running warm-up.
Not only are these bands super cost-effective (grab them from prosourcefit.com and save even more with the code “mamabearfit”) but they give a bit more resistance and variety to your warm-ups which will help you hit your muscles just a bit more than you’d normally be able to.
Quick & Easy Warm-Up
Below is a warm-up that works for just about everything. It’s simple, minimal equipment and only a few exercises. But it hits all major areas and gets your body ready to work out at home.
Don’t forget to pin these warm-up exercises and tips!
A proper warm-up should start off every single workout. This means mimicking the movements you’re about to perform, warming up shoulder and hip mobility, and generally preparing the body of what’s to come. Your warm-ups don’t need to take fifteen minutes to be effective. In fact, my warm ups only last through 1.5 songs on my iPod. Keep it simple but keep it effective.