People taking part in a class

Want to know the best way to prepare mentally and physically for today’s workout? – That's right! An efficient warm-up.

Properly warming up is the best way to increase your ability during your workout and reduce the risk of injury, among many other major benefits!

Do not fall victim to the common (and let’s face it, very tempting) mistake of ignoring such a vital aspect of any of your training sessions!

Do Warm-Ups Help Performance?

Yes, warm-ups can significantly enhance performance. They increase heart rate, circulation, and body temperature, which in turn improve muscle flexibility and function.

Warm-up exercises prepare the central nervous system for more intense activity, enhancing reaction times and coordination. They also help to prevent injuries by reducing the risk of muscle strains and other related issues. Incorporating a proper warm-up routine into workouts (and other physical activities, including swimming and team sports) is a valuable practice for optimising performance and minimizing the likelihood of injury.

What Happens if You Don’t Warm-up?

If you skip a warm-up before doing exercise, it can result in a number of negative consequences; namely higher risk of injury and suboptimal physical performance. Without a warm-up, your muscles and joints are less prepared for the demands of exercise, which can lead to decreased flexibility and range of motion. This increases the risk of muscle strains, ligament sprains, and other injuries.

Without a proper warm-up, your heart rate and circulation might not be elevated enough, which can potentially impact your performance by reducing oxygen delivery to your muscles and impairing coordination and reaction times.

What Are the Main Components of a Good Warm-Up?

A good warm-up typically consists of the following main components:

Cardiovascular Activation

Engaging in light aerobic activities like jogging, jumping jacks, or cycling to increase heart rate and circulation.

Dynamic Stretching

Performing dynamic stretches that mimic the movements you’ll do during your main activity and it promotes flexibility and mobility.

Joint Mobilisation

Joint mobilisation involves gentle movements or rotations of major joints to lubricate them and improve their range of motion.

Muscle Activation

Muscle Activation is light, low-intensity exercises targeting the major muscle groups you’ll use, gradually increasing their activity.

Mental Preparation

It is important to focus on mental readiness, visualization, and preparing yourself mentally for the upcoming activity.

Progression

Gradually intensify the warm-up to match the intensity of the main activity, ensuring a smooth transition into the main part of your physical activity/exercise.

4 Steps to Creating Your Successful Warm-Up

Step 1 – Prepare

Prepare how you want to perform in your session. Your warm-up needs to do the obvious and warm you up, hitting all your muscles. But you should try to mainly target the ones you will be using most in your workout!

Step 2 – Short and simple.

Your WARM-UP does not need to be running 15K, countless calories on the ski and hitting a PB on a 500m row before you train. Keep it anywhere between 5-8 minutes any longer will cause fatigue and possibly lower your results.

Step 3 – Keep it dynamic.

Dynamic movements help increase your preparedness far better than basic static stretches!

Step 4 – Be active.

Your warm-up needs to raise your heart rate, get your body temperature rising and get you fully prepared to smash your session without any risk of putting you out for 8 weeks!