I never thought warming up was important. I would show up for my workout and 'warmed up' for a few minutes and then hit my workout, HARD. These workouts included heavy squats, pull ups, push ups and aerobic training.
I was young and resilient and didn't understand the outcome of skipping a warm up. I am now paying the price...
Poor movement patterns, bad habits and injury are a result of not taking an extra ten minutes. TEN MINUTES...seems silly now to think this short amount of time could have set me up for better results and prevented some of the injuries I have sustained. I am getting older, we all are, and with age we require a little more time and care to prevent our body from becoming injured.
Why a general warm up is so effective:
First and foremost, a general warm up that gets your blood moving will lay a good foundation from which you can build your daily workout on. Blood flow is critical to priming the body for movement. It will begin to lubricate your joints and promote blood flow to your extremities. You want to lube up before you get down to business (yes! a pun!).
After a general blood flow piece a good warm up should take into account personal issues such as:
1. Previous injury. 2. Areas with poor muscle engagement/recruitment. 3. What is forth coming in your workout.
Basically, you want to ensure you are priming your system for activity.
Glutes don't activate? do glute work! Try the Standing Clam Shell.
Squatting? Do glute work! Try the single leg reacher.
Upper Body work today? Prep your scapula and shoulders! Try the escalation shrug.
Core intensive exercises on the menu today? Do an active core warm up such as the Bear Crawl.
See where I am going with this?!
Get the muscles that will be used for your primary exercises working BEFORE you do your primary exercises. This will increase what you get out of the work, reduce your risk of injury, help increase strength while decreasing your risk for injury.