Iulia here with another great fitness blog, just for you!
You have probably heard someone tell you that you need to warm-up before exercising to keep from tearing a hamstring and to make your lifts stronger. What do you normally do to warm-up? Do you hit the treadmill for a few minutes? or take 5 on the floor stretching? Well, what I’m about to reveal about stretching might be something a little new to you, because sadly plain old stretching or some cardio won’t do the trick…
How could stretching or cardio be bad warmups?
Stretching cold muscles can actually be dangerous and can actually increase your chance of pulling a muscle. But what about cardio? Well, it’s great to get your blood flowing, but it only gets your legs moving. The right warm-up should prepare more than your heart, in fact it will get your muscles, your respiratory system, and even your Central Nervous System ready for action!
So what warm-up should I be doing?
Let me break down the types of warm-ups for you
Cardio- To keep it simple, cardio is anything that gets your heart pumping
Static- This is considered the traditional form of stretching where you hold your body in a certain stretch for a few seconds at a time. This is one of the most commonly taught warm-ups in the United States. A great example of this would be touching your toes to get your legs ready to run.
Dynamic- This warm-up is a slower, lighter version of whatever exercise you are warming up for. An example would be doing some slow push-ups before pumping it out on the bench press. These types of warm-ups are more rare to see or to be taught.
Ballistic- Ballistic stretches are fluid movements that prep your muscles for action. A good way to think of them is a moving version of Static stretching. A common example is swimmers doing “hugger’s” just before their big race.
With all of this said, your warm-up depends on your exercises for the day, but it has been found that dynamic warm-ups are the most effective for lifting weights. So remember low and slow, when it comes to warming up for any lift. Low weight and slow reps will keep you safe from injury and will help you to lift more.
But before you go hit the gym to get Fit With Iulia, here’s a little reminder of the rules to keep warming-up simple and effective
- Don’t go longer than 10 or 15 minutes
- You shouldn’t be working hard.
- 3-5 Warm-up exercises should be sufficient
Like I said they’re SUPER simple, so that you can get your body ready to lift and exercise without making your workout twice as long. So go get a good warm-up and then I’ll see you in the gym for the
worst best burn of your life 😈