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Warm Ups: How, Why, What?

Your complete guide to warming up and the reasons behind why it is so important can be found below.


Doing a warm up may feel somewhat time consuming if you are on a tight schedule and want to get straight into working out, but it’s more important than you think and will improve your overall performance in the gym, as well as your recovery afterwards.

Many of us fall into the trap of immediately hitting the weights or getting right onto the treadmill at full sprint, ready for our high intensity interval training, but you will find that your actual effort will be lowered because your muscles won’t be, well, warm!

And that’s exactly what warming up is all about.

As with everything, you need to gradually get your muscles into a rhythm that is conducive to exercise, rather than going from a complete stop to a full on start.

Think of it as shifting gears. You pull off in first and then move through the gears until you reach fifth, or sixth (if you’re lucky!), and from there you can push towards your own top speed.  

A warm up will also lead to:

·      An increase in core body temperature

·      Injury prevention

·      More oxygen to your muscles

·      Faster, more agile muscle movements

·      An improvement in exercise performance

·      An enhancement of mobility

·      Distribute fluids into the joint spaces

·      Release connective tissue bonds

If you don’t warm up, you will find that your body will be less flexible, stiffer, and more prone to injuries that will seriously set your progress back.

Your joints need to be able to move through a full range of motion and by warming up you will have already prepared your body for the intensity of the exercise to come. 


Warming up can be done in a variety of ways but the most commonly accepted methods are through dynamic and static stretching.

If you do not feel like stretching dynamically or statically then doing a quick yoga or Pilates session can also serve to get you feeling limber and will relieve any tension that your muscles may be under.

Static stretching was, for a long time, considered the norm, and many people still only employ this technique when warming up, but a shift in perspective allowed us to discover that static stretching can actually take away your strength and power because it overextends the muscles. Now, a combination of the two is generally what is required before you work out.  

After employing both techniques, your body will be properly warmed up and it will, crucially, allow you to perform every exercise you do with the proper form, without any nagging stiffness and such.


Static Stretching

A static warm-up can:

·      Improve range of motion

·      However, not ideal for a warm-up because they don’t appear to prevent injury and may limit force production

·      Best performed after a workout, as a “warm-down”


·      Arm and shoulder stretch

·      Hamstring stetch

·      Quad stretch

·      Groin stretch

Dynamic Stretching

A dynamic warm-up can:

·      Improve range of motion

·      Increase blood flow and metabolism

·      Raise core body temperature

·      Prepare muscles for contractions during exercise

·      Reduce tension

·      Minimises muscle damage


·      Jump rope

·      Jumping jacks

·      Squats (bodyweight)

·      Leg swings

·      Hip rotations

·      Lunges

·      Burpees

·      Push ups


Warming up can be the deciding factor between picking up an injury and progressing to reach your fitness goals. You will feel, afterwards, that you will not suffer from DOMS or stiffness that you would normally encounter after an exercise, which will help you when you want to train the next day.

You will be able to push yourself further during your routine because your muscles will be “ready” to perform at a higher level and your body will already be in a state that is conducive to recovery following the periods of oxidative stress during exercise that you will encounter. 

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