Artist: dusanpetkovic

Warm up properly for strength training

by John Harris Fitness

If you start cold, you put your body at risk. A proper warm-up should therefore be part of every training routine. On the other hand, too much warm-up can also be detrimental to training success, namely if the muscles are already exhausted as a result. It is therefore important to know the right dose and adapt the warm-up program to the following workout in order to achieve optimal results.

The advantages of the warm-up

Starting your workout slowly has many advantages. Your muscles get better blood flow and your brain prepares for the following load. This reduces the risk of injury. Muscles with a good blood supply are more flexible and more efficient. Due to the better oxygen supply and the increased body temperature, all processes in the body function better. You can therefore train more effectively after warming up and protect your joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles from injuries caused by too fast a load. Also, the pulse does not suddenly skyrocket, but is continuously increased, so the load on the cardiovascular system is lower. In several studies, Norwegian researchers have found that a warm-up program can prevent about 30-50% of injuries in the long term. Handball players and soccer players were studied for this purpose. It also turned out to be particularly important that the warm-up must fit the sport and the right muscle groups must be prepared. Only then is the warm-up program really effective.

Artist: Nikolas_jkd

Warming up correctly

There is no ideal warm-up program for everyone; rather, it must be tailored to age, season, time of day and type of sport. The duration is also variable. If you train early in the morning, for example, you should plan more time for it, because the body needs longer to get going properly. In summer, a shorter warm-up is generally necessary, since the outside temperature already warms up the body. Older athletes also need more time to prepare their bodies than younger ones. The following load is also crucial. For a short, casual workout, you need to warm up less than for a competition, for example. If you're just training hobby-style, then about 10-15 minutes is usually enough to warm up the muscles and increase oxygenation. When you start to sweat, you are usually ready for the actual workout. If you spent the whole day sitting before, you should additionally mobilize your joints before the workout, e.g. stiff neck.

The golden rules of warm-up

- Start slowly

- A short cardio workout to start

- Then do a sport-specific warm-up: For strength training, start with light sets

- No break between warm-up and actual workout

- No stretching before sports that require speed

- Never cold stretching, only after the actual warm-up stretching exercises are useful, otherwise the risk of injury increases.

Warming up for weight training?

Unfortunately, there is a persistent rumor that a warm-up is poison for weight training. We would like to dispel this misinformation once and for all. With a short cardio workout you hardly burn calories, but you prevent injuries. So the point of warming up is obvious. Even if your main goal is to gain weight, a warm-up is essential to prepare your muscles properly. The fear of burning too much energy or exhausting your muscles too quickly is unfounded if you warm up properly. Mobilize the muscle groups you want to train later, get on the bike or treadmill for a few minutes and then start with the specific warm-up, i.e. a few short, easy sets that do not yet go to your limit. This way you'll be optimally prepared and your muscles will be ready for more.

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