The Importance of a Structured Warm Up


The Importance of a Structured Warm Up

By: Alex C. Smith, NSCA-CSCS

Taking the time to warm up properly is the key to optimized training. A 15 minute warm up four times a week will provide you with 52 hours of training time for the year. During this time, your body will restore its ability to perform, recover, and sustain long term success. Completing a structured warm up creates consistency and allows the body to prepare for your workout.

Warming up primes the body by:

  • Improving mental readiness

  • Increasing blood flow oxygenating muscle tissue

  • Preparing the nervous system for increased force production and reaction time

  • Increasing body temperature for increased oxygen absorption and injury prevention

  • Mobilizing joints in order to move properly

A proper warm up should have the following aspects:

  • 2-5 minute cardiovascular movement

    • Ex: Light run, jumping rope, stairmaster, etc.

  • Activating muscles generally with non-fatiguing body-weight movements

    • Plank, squat, hinge patterns, hip raise, bird-dogs, etc.

  • Dynamic Stretching

    • Ex: Leg swings, skipping, lunge with a twist, knee hugs, etc.

  • Mobilize joints specific to the workout

    • Lunge with a twist, banded lateral walk, band pull aparts, pull throughs

  • Slowly build intensity for the workout

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