How to Warm Up Properly

How to Warm up Properly

Matthew Harackiewicz, EP-C, BS, ACSM

 

Are you someone who walks into a gym and immediately feels lost and unsure of where to start?  You might be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of people doing different exercises and the large variety of equipment. Perhaps your only “safe space” is a treadmill or the machine circuit, so you begin by walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes, and then go through each machine just one time. You might leave the gym after your routine without breaking a sweat or feeling like you accomplished anything. You, along with the vast majority of people complete this routine and always leave the gym unsatisfied. I am here to tell you that you can get a quality and more-effective workout in the same amount of time.  

Every workout should start with a dynamic warm-up. This does not mean that you should go walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes, because that would not be a sufficient warm-up. Try to find a yoga room or an extra room where you have a good amount of space for yourself.  The dynamic warm-up should take no more than 10 minutes, but should improve range of motion (ROM), increase blood flow to the muscles, and increase your core body temperature.  Movements like jumping jacks, hip rotations, inchworms, lateral lunges and knee hugs are effective movements that you can do in open space to prepare your body for the workout.  This warm-up should be a little challenging and make you start to break a sweat before your cardio or strength workout.  I will be posting a video soon on my favorite dynamic warm up exercises that help prepare me for my workout!