3 Reasons Not to Skip Your Warm-up

Is stretching and warming-up worth your time? What is a proper warm-up?

I notice that most people walk in to the gym and jump right into their strength workout. If this is you and you haven’t injured yourself already, you’re likely on borrowed time. I always begin my personal training clients’ workout with a dynamic warm-up and stretches followed by 5 minutes of light cardio.

Here are 3 reasons why a proper warm-up is important:

It gets the blood flowing and eases you into activity

A simple 5 to 10 minute warm-up with active stretching gets the blood pumping and your brain ready for action. It gradually increases your heart rate as opposed to going from “zero to 60” in a few minutes. An example of some active stretches would be hamstring kicks, lunges with an upper body twist, glute bridges, lunges, hugging the knee at the chest while walking, and kicking the heels back – just to name a few.

It helps to correct muscle imbalances due to tightness

If you’re like me (and most people), one side of your body is tighter than the other. If you don’t stretch or foam roll tight muscles before your workout, you could possibly add to the current muscle imbalance or injure yourself. Take time to get both sides evenly loosened up and ready to rock and roll.

It prepares muscles for action

Try and mimic an exercise that you will perform in your workout. For example, if you’re going to perform a weighted barbell squat, warm-up with bodyweight squats or vertical jumps. This starts your muscle memory and wakes specific muscles up so they are prepared to move effectively and, ultimately, injury free.