KFix PT’s Warmup Advice
Key components of a good warm up include:
Mobility — Flexibility — Activation — Coordination — Application
Everyone has been told ‘you need to warm up before a workout’, but not everyone knows why or how to properly do it. A warmup should prepare you for your workout or activity, not wear you out, and should get your brain and body working in a manner that is conducive to your workout.
If you’ve just rolled out of bed 30 minutes before a morning workout or if you’ve been sitting in a desk at work or school all day before an afternoon session, or if you have to slog through traffic on your way to an evening workout, your body is not physically ready to generate and transmit the amount of force required for good performance and productive training sessions.
Everyone probably knows the one important thing a good warmup accomplishes is gradually increasing heart rate and circulation. This paired with moving the muscles and joints through a range is important to lubricate joints, increase blood flow to muscles, and to prepare the lungs and heart to pump a lot of blood and oxygen during training. It’s like starting up your car for a few minutes before driving in cold weather. A good warmup also accomplishes priming the muscles for efficient, precise movement by activating the right motor units and muscle groups.
The final goal of the warmup is technical preparation and getting ready to perform, whether that’s in a cardio based workout or a strength training session. Applying the first 4 key components of a good warm-up plays a vital role in reducing risk of injury as well as improving performance in training and competing.
Set aside 5-15 minutes before a session and prepare yourself to get the most out of your training. The time you spend should be based on your prior level of movement throughout the day, soreness levels, any problem areas, and duration of workout.