Where to Find Value In Your Warm-up
I truly value the time I allow myself to warm up and stretch before each session.
Not only do I get to release any tension I may be carrying but this time also gives me a moment to check in with my body, see where I may be a little stiff, and pay attention to what my body is telling me. It’s important to make sure you have sufficient time to properly warm up the body and prepare for the work you are about to do.
A good rule of thumb is if you don’t have enough time for your warm up, you don’t have time to workout or train. Skipping your warm-up is not a good practice and can lead to higher chance of injury during your training.
HOW TO USE YOUR WARM-UP MOST EFFECTIVELY
Warm-ups give you the opportunity to scan the body head to toe to see how you feel on that particular day. Some days you may feel your shoulders are stiff or sore from the previous session. Or maybe your hamstrings are really tight upon waking up.This just means you may want to spend some extra time warming up the legs and hips. Do what feels right and do what feels good! Don’t just go through the motions on a head to toe warm up and call it a day. This is a time for you to feel fully what’s happening.
A successful warm-up should include movements that target the entire body but also have a focus on a particular body part. For instance, every time I practice handstands, I always spend time on the wrists, elbows, and shoulders. For one, these movements help strengthen and mobilize the targeted joints. This gets me in the “zone” as I prepare my body for my days training. It gives me an opportunity to see how prepared I am to train that day.
WHY YOU SHOULD PRIORITIZE YOUR WARM-UP
- When I am not properly warmed up I notice that my body doesn’t feel awake for the demands I am about to place upon it. I also don’t feel as focused as I should be for my session. I try to get a light sweat on to make sure my body is warm and pliable.
- There may also be some days where you get to the gym or plan on training and just don’t “feel” it that day. Even on those days, I recommend, warming up the body to get the blood flowing. You may find that after that warm-up, you’re primed and ready to continue with the session. In fact, some of my best sessions have come from days when I didn’t “feel” it upon showing up. But I warmed up the body and did a couple of movements, and I listened to my body. In return I was rewarded with a great session.
- I look at my warms ups as a “pre” work out only because I know and I feel myself giving proper attention and care to particular parts of my body. I make sure to make it count. Even when I show up and feel like putting in maybe 60% of the work in my session, I am absolutely certain if I give my stretch time 100%, my body is receiving the right amount of TLC.
Make sure to allow yourself to have the time you need to warm up. By just hitting the gym and putting in the work and not laying out the blueprint first, you’re creating an unstable foundation that has room for cracks and flaws.