If you’ve only got a limited amount of time to train at the gym and you’re thinking about skipping your warm up, it’s time to reconsider.
So, why are warm ups important?
If you were playing another sport, like soccer or basketball, you wouldn’t jump out of the car and start sprinting straight away. The same applies for the gym!
Training at the gym should be preceded by a proper warm up to help prepare the body for exercise.
What is a Warm Up?
A warm up consists of activities which help to get your mind and body ready for the exercise or sport you’re about to perform.
The aims of a warmup include activating the muscles and minimising the risk of injury.
Importance Of Warm Ups Before Exercise
There’s a mountain of research which illustrates why warm ups are an essential component of any physical activity performance.
For the gym specifically, reasons to warm up before exercise include:
- Improving blood flow & circulation
- Improving flexibility & range of motion
- Reducing muscle tightness & pain
- Reducing overall injury risk
What Do I Include in My Warm Ups?
As a general rule, mobilising and activating the muscles you are about to use are your main goals.
There are a variety of different strategies you can implement under these categories:
- Dynamic Stretching (NOT static stretching!)
- Trigger Ball/Foam Rolling
- Dowel movements
- Isolated, low weight, high repetition exercises of agonist and antagonist muscles e.g Shoulder External Rotations, Clam Shells, Rows, Crab Walks, Booty Band exercises etc
- For Weights-Based Session:
- Perform your first exercise with bodyweight/low weight for high reps. Utilise a resistance band or booty band to increase activation levels!
- For Cardio-Based Session:
- Start at a low speed/resistance and steadily build up. Avoid a sudden increase in intensity/difficulty.
What Happens When You Don’t Warm Up Before Exercise?
Neglecting a warm up can expose imbalances, weaknesses and other issues while you train.
Subsequently, injuries and pain are much more likely to occur.
For example, weak glutes which aren’t activated prior to workouts, can cause lower back, knee and even foot/ankle pain!
Have you experienced an injury as a result of improper warm ups?
Our sports physiotherapist can help. If you’d like to book an appointment with them, click here.
If a little niggle, or serious injury is stopping you from reaching your potential and performing at your best, then the trusted team at RRP Physiotherapy can help.
We develop customised treatment plans for people of all walks of life and sporting abilities, including professional athletes.
Our team has a strong background in exercise rehabilitation and is obsessed with health and fitness. But rest assured, we also treat non-sporting injuries like workplace injuries, chronic diseases, musculoskeletal imbalances, body stiffness and much more.
We are located at North West Physiotherapy Everton Park – one of North Brisbane’s most reputable Physiotherapy clinics.
RRP Physiotherapy accepts Private Health Insurance (via HICAPS), and bulk-bills WorkCover, DVA (White/Gold Cards) and GP Management Plans (EPCs). Plus, you don’t need a referral to come and see us!