So many people around the world just go straight to working out, least realizing that the importance of preparing their bodies for the strenuous workout regimes ahead. Warmups are not an optional set of stretching exercises that you should do, they are rather an integral part of all your workouts. Done consistently, they help you derive more mileage with every workout- even when you do not realize it!

Stretching and doing warmups are not exactly anyone’s favorite part of exercising. However, this doesn’t take their significance away in protecting your muscles and tendons. Several fitness experts advise starting with a custom workout plan for your goals but they usually do not ask you to do it without a proper plan for stretching.

Also read: Importance of warmups

You can thus well imagine the significance that this generalized set of practices can do to one’s wellbeing. Its end goal is always preparing you physically and mentally, and to help you have optimum levels of blood pressure and blood sugar levels. All these factors are included in your stamina to workout out in-home or in the gym.

Benefits of the Warmup or Pre-Workout Stretching

Benefits of the warmup or pre-workout stretching

Stretching yourself and doing some basic exercises stimulates your cardiovascular system and warms up the targeted muscle groups. Many studies have shown that lack of such sessions increases the risk of injuries during exercise sessions.

1. More agility and flexibility

2. Reduced risk of injuries and sprains

3. Enhanced range of motion

4. Higher rate of oxygen absorption, thus reducing cramps

5. Reduced pain and stiffness

6. Higher blood pressure and blood sugar levels

7. Enhanced performance

8. Helps to get more mileage

9. Helps you break a sweat faster and burn fat faster

10. Reduces the risk of heart attack

11. Increases endurance levels

12. Strengthens respiratory and cardiovascular systems

Types of Warmups

Types of warmups

A warm-up generally consists of a gradual increase in intensity in physical activity (a "pulse raiser"), joint mobility exercise, and stretching, followed by the activity. For example, before running or playing an intensive sport, athletes might slowly jog to warm their muscles and increase their heart rate.

These sessions must be specific to the activity so that the targeted muscles are activated. The risks and benefits of combining stretching with warming up are disputable, although it is generally believed that doing such pre-workout movements prepares the athlete both mentally and physically.

Some of the common types of warm-up exercises are:

  • Planks

  • Side lunges

  • Jumping ropes

  • Dynamic warmup

  • Static stretching

  •  Pushups

  • Triceps warmup

  • Squats

  • Jogging

Our online fitness coaches advise you to go with these advanced exercises to get more benefits:

Passive warm-up

Passive warm-up

It is the least effective form of aerobics because it makes use of external sources of heat like the sauna, spa, or steam rooms to help your body get charged. This method is not effective unless accompanied by one or more of the other types of warm-up because they do little to increase the temperature deep within the muscles.

Basic warm-up

This type of warm-up plays an active role in stimulating and increasing the flow of blood to the requisite group of muscles. Some of the common activities that come under this type include stretching, jogging, jumping jacks, aerobics steps, and basic calisthenics moves.

These activities play a role in strengthening the cardiovascular system and lungs. Persisting with them prepares your body for vigorous workout sessions.

Targeted Warm-up

This warm-up is required for specific activities like training with weights. The name makes it clear that this type of warm-up prepares the targeted muscles that will be used in the specific sessions.

How Long Should You Warm-Up?

How long should you warm-up?

You should stretch for at least 7 to 10 mins. The more vigorous the exercise program or higher skills required in the workout, the longer the sessions should be. You may contact your trainer for the exact set of exercises that you should start your schedule with.

Tip: Another related aspect is that of cooling one’s body down after one’s exercise schedule. Here’s a free resource to check what it could mean to you too!

Wear a Fitness Tracker to Prepare Better

Heart rate is a good indicator for judging the effectiveness of your warm-up. The heart rate should be no more than 10 beats above or below the low-end of your training heart rate range. A break of sweat is also a good indicator after a workout because it would help your body dissipate heat faster.

To get this done, you should wear a premium fitness tracker. It would help you get accurate readings for your health vitals (like pulse rate, heart rate, and blood oxygen levels) and you can use this information to make more informed choices about your fitness levels by consulting an expert.

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