Sairamnath Ananthakrishnan

 | 1 minute to read

Essentials of workout (Part 1) - THE WARM UP

Exercise Science

Hola Gym goers/enthusiasts/freaks. Some of us go to the gym for the general purpose of doing an activity per day, some for remaining fit and some for sculpting their bodies even better. For all of us, there is one thumb rule. You just cannot start your session without this. You may be lazy or in a hurry to rush back to home/office/party/outing etc., hence you may want to have a rapid fire round of exercises such as super sets/giant sets/drop sets due to lack of time. But without these it can either render your session ineffective due to lack of mobility or even worse, cause an injury that will make you regret for a week or two. I am talking about Warm up sessions. Fancy clothes, sassy shoes, wireless headphones, sippers, shakers etc., are all external factors ie., not exactly what your body may need for an effective workout session. You can still be a minimalist and have an awesome training regimen. What the body cannot do away with it is a proper warm up which is internal. You may want to become a body builder, physique professional, athlete, recreational lifter etc.,which is fair enough according to the goals you set for yourself. The unsaid rule would be to start your session with a warm up. Read again WARM UP not STRETCHES. Warms up are done before the training session to ready your muscles before a workout. Stretching is an activity done post workout to help the pumped muscles come back to it original size and help relax. Benefits of Warm up • Increases performance • Minimize risk of injury (hey, if your form is shitty while working out, you are going to screw your joints anyway however warmed up you are. So this is just the first step) • Increases the blood flow to your muscles through increased heart rate • Delivers oxygen & nutrients to the muscles Lets take a look at these critical pointers to understand how warm up benefits us Performance: When a warm up is done, the muscles are awakened from its restive state to active state. Even Usain bolt, the fastest man on earth, would be competing with turtles if he is not warmed up prior to his event. Its like expecting someone to break open a 4 feat thick concrete door while the same can be opened by a small metal key. Warm up > Increased blood flow > Oxygen & nutrients to muscle > High performance Minimize risk of injury: Like I said, warm up is the first step towards preventing an injury not the tool to eliminate it. If your form is as bad a 10 year old rag, you can rest assure of an injury that can keep you out of the gym for weeks or months depending on movement you have performed. Having said that, dynamic warm up leads to the core temperature of the body to go up helping your muscles to become active, improve range of motion (critical to prevent injury), and improved mental focus Heart Rate/Blood flow: What do you need for an effective workout? No prizes for guessing. Energy !! As simple as it can get. So where do you get the energy from? Nutrients from the food you eat. How are these nutrients transported? By blood. So if you don’t have proper blood flow or circulation, where would you have the energy to workout? Got it? So warming up leads to bringing the nutrients to the muscles thereby preventing any cramping or injuries or lethargy at minimum Key Takeaway Warm up should involve some dynamic movements that helps your muscles stay active, improving mental focus, reducing lethargy, minimising injury. A good warm up activity for 10 minutes eases your muscles thereby improving your range of motion which has a direct bearing on your muscle growth. Warm up exercises like Jumping jacks, High knees, burpees etc., are good examples of a full body warm up that’ll kickstart a good workout session. Remember, A cold, sleepy muscle is a recipe for disaster

Shuchi Gupta

Great read. Could you also mention a few good warm up exercises before hitting weights?

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