How To Warm Up For Fitness Workouts

The Warm-Up
The practice of a warm-up is a surprisingly neglected component of training and exercise that warrants attention. A warm-up period is imperative before any athletic or physical performance, the aim being to prepare oneself psychologically and physically for exercise or competition. A well-made warm-up can increase muscle temperature, central temperature, and blood movement, and also dislocate short-lived connective tissue connections. These effects can have the subsequent constructive effects on performance:
  • Quicker muscle contraction and relaxation of the agonist (prime mover) and antagonist (opposite) muscles.
  • Enhancements in the frequency of force development and reaction time.
  • Developments in muscular-based strength and power fabrication.
  • Depressed gluey resistance in muscle tissue.
  • Enriched oxygen distribution due to the Bohr Effect, whereby greater temperatures expedite oxygen discharge from haemoglobin and myoglobin.
  • Augmented blood flow to energetic muscles.
  • Heightened metabolic responses.

While the effect of a warm-up on injury deterrence is uncertain, the evidence proposes a positive effect. For instance, increased muscle temperature can increase the resistance to muscle tear due to strenuous physical activity.  



Stretching During Warm-Up
Static stretching has extensively been used in warm-ups, with the intention of augmenting performance and sinking the risk of injury. Contemporary assessments of the writings dealing with the role of static stretching question its use as such. There is diminutive, if any, indication that stretching pre- or post- partaking averts injury or following muscle soreness. Although static stretching before activity may augment performance in activities that necessitate an increased range of motion, such as gymnastics, static stretching can compromise muscle performance. For example, static stretching has been shown to result in a reduction in force production, power performance, running swiftness, response and movement time, and strength endurance. Furthermore, both proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching and ballistic stretching have been demonstrated to be unfavourable to ensuing performance. Dynamic stretching does not appear to prompt the performance lessening effects of static and PNF stretching and has been demonstrated to progress running performance. As a result, it would seem that dynamic stretching would be the preferred option for stretching during a warm-up.  
Components of a Warm-Up
A complete warm-up programme contains the next two components:
  1. 1. A general warm-up period that consists of five to ten minutes of leisure activity, for instance skipping or jogging. Otherwise, low-intensity activity-specific movements like dribbling a ball can be fruitful at this time. This delivers a very sport-specific general warm-up that benefits skill improvement and raises body temperature. The goal of this period is to escalate heart rate, blood flow, deep muscle temperature, respiration rate, perspiration, and to cut the gooeyness of joint liquids.
  2. 2. A specific warm-up period integrates movements similar to those found in the athlete’s sport or exercise modality. It comprises eight to twelve minutes of dynamic stretching concentrating on movements that go through the range of motion essential for the activity, for instance the walking knee lift. This is shadowed by activity-specific movements of growing intensity such as sprint drills, bounding activities, or jumping. The more power required, the more significant the warm-up comes to be.
The warm-up should progress steadily and deliver sufficient intensity to increase muscle and core temperatures short of triggering fatigue or reducing energy stores. It is likely that there are ideal levels of warm-up, but these will be linked to the physical activity, the individual, and the setting. Bibliography
  1. 1. Baechle, Thomas R., and Roger W. Earle. "Warm-Up and Stretching." NSCA Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 2nd Edition. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics, 2008. 297-299.
2. Hoffman, J. Physiological Aspects of Sports Performance and Training. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2004. 3. McArdle, W.D., F.I. Katch, and V.L. Katch. Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition and Human Performance, 6th edition. Baltimore: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. 2007. 4. Safran, M.R., W.E. Garrett, A.V. Seaber, R.R. Glisson, and B.M. Ribbeck. The role of warm-up in muscular injury prevention. Am J Sports Med 16(2): 123:128, 1988. 5. Shrier, I. Does stretching improve performance? A systematic and critical review of the literature [review]. Clin J Sport Med 14(5): 267-273. 2004.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

1 of 3