Warm Ups – Are they Really Necessary?

Warming up for exercise is often skipped by many, however, warming up is crucial to increase performance and prevent injury. A warm up will vary largely depending on the type of exercise you are about to undertake and the facilities available. The aim is to increase blood flow to your muscles, increase core temperature and respiration rate, allow for smoother movement patterns, decreases viscosity of synovial and joint fluid and increase force output. Remember specificity to the exercise you are about to undertake is key!

Here is a quick guide to adequately prepare you for a general strength training session.

  1. Tissue Quality: Use a foam roller to get rid of any small adhesions within the connective tissue to allow muscles and connective tissue to slide past one another with more ease during exercise.
  2. Activate: Neurologically prepare target and stabilisation muscles. Start waking up the muscles you’re about to use.
  3. Corrective Exercises: Allow time to specifically target any individual weaknesses you may have. For example, prehab or rehab exercises or strengthening exercises for specific muscle weaknesses.
  4. Thermogenic Exercises: This will involve some sort of aerobic activity to get your heart and respiration rate up, increase blood flow and tissue pliability.
  5. Dynamic Stretching: Increases range of motion, reaction time and power.
  6. Neural Preparation: Recruitment of the same muscles and motor units at a lighter intensity to allow for post-activation potentiation to occur for increase force in subsequent exercise. This might be as simple as doing one set of bench press with no weight on the bar before completing heavier sets.

If you would like to see how exercise can help you perform better in all aspects of life, contact our team at Absolute Balance for more information.

Taylor Downes

B.Sc. Human Movement (ESSAM)

Reference:

Haff, G., editor, Triplett, N. Travis, 1964-, editor, & National Strength & Conditioning Association (U.S.). (2016). Essentials of strength training and conditioning (Fourth ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.