December 2016 ISSUE


Print Article

Warm Up Before You Wear Out
You enter the gym, walk into the change room, and as you put on your fitness attire butterflies fill your stomach. You are anxious, nervous and pumped about your training routine that lies ahead in the next few minutes.
As you walk onto the gym floor you finally feel at home and all feelings cease. This is where you belong, this is your home away from home - the place where you let go of your daily
pressures through the art of exercise. However, are you aware of the risks involved in not undergoing a proper warm-up routine?

Most all exercise enthusiasts are guilty of this on-going fitness sin that inhabits our healthy lifestyle. Time and time again people disrespect their bodies by not focusing proper attention towards the importance of warming up before they workout. They feel the need to jump right into their workout routine at full mast.

Now not to say no one warms up. However, the brutal truth remains the same - 90 percent of exercise routine's begin without some sort of a warm-up. Many are also influenced by a myth that supports the idea that if their workout doesn't involve lifting weights, the importance for a warm-up is minimal. This is false! It doesn't matter what type of workout - cardio, weight training, fartleck, sports specific - every physical activity that involves a resistance on the body should be paired with a proper warm-up.

Think about it like this: When you start your car, do you immediately jerk it into drive and slam the gas to the floor? We hope not ,or one would assume your mechanic would view you as their most valuable customer. You begin by warming it up, letting it idle, and giving the vehicles fluids a chance to adhere to their proper mechanisms.

While we're young our body may stand a better chance of not incurring injuries. However, as we grow older time takes its toll, and while we may not feel the effects immediately, down the road our body will suffer. Such ailments may include back, shoulder, knee, and joint pain, as well as a strew of other cardiovascular risks that may arise.

Immediate injuries can also occur, such as torn muscles - one of which is the pectoral muscle tear. This occurs most frequently while performing the bench press and is caused from the absence of proper warm-up sets. Our egos can also the wheel as we try to push more weight than our body can handle. If this injury is incurred, surgery is the only way to re-attach the muscle fibers from the chest to the shoulder - through metal screws and fasteners. The surgery must take place within 2 weeks of the injury or you can forget about ever having proper function of your pectoral muscle again. You're right - doesn't sound fun.

Proper Warm-Up

A proper warm-up should consist of 4 important aspects:

  1. Priming the tendons
  2. Priming the heart
  3. Priming the muscles
  4. Priming the mind *** (most important)

The Tendons: begin by performing some light stretches that focus attention towards the legs, groin, and arms. Stretching will warm connective tissues and prime the tendons for the stress that they will incur during the workout.

The Heart: a proper cardiovascular warm-up is very important because it promotes blood flow throughout the body increasing the body's temperature and sending oxygen and blood to the muscles and lungs. This not only aids a boost in metabolism while you workout, but also primes the body for immediate nutrient delivery to the muscles once your workout begins, allowing for proper glycemic activity as well as oxygen and protein delivery. A great way to prime the heart is to set a slight incline on a treadmill and commence a brisk inclined walk for as brief as 2 minutes.

The Muscles: extremely important before beginning a weight lifting routine. As stated prior - very poor gym etiquette if not undertaken properly. A great way to prime the muscles for the strenuous workout ahead is to perform some light warm-up sets with weights. Performing 2-3 light warm-up sets, executing 15-20 reps per set will defiantly bring unimaginable rewards. You will be able to lift heavier as well as have a clear mind when the issue of potential injuries are concerned. Do not rush through the warm up sets, focus on the stretch and feel the muscles as they engorge with blood. FEEL the pump and love the stretch. As well, focus on your breathing - inhale deep on the negative contraction and exhale fully on the positive contraction.

The Mind: the utter most important part in the warm-up. You must be mentally focused. If you don't want to be in the gym it will show, not only in your workout, but also in your progress. You must mentally focus and concentrate on what it is you are about to do. Like anything in life, if you focus, and are mentally strong than you are going to perform better. If you're just going through the motions than forget it - your warm-up will lack the necessary intensity - hindering you from reaching your goals in mind and body. Visualize with your mind - the muscles filling with oxygen, or the heart pumping nutrients through your veins. Whether cardio, muscular, or sports specific warm-up training, visualization is key. Mind - the most important aspect of anything attempted or accomplished in life. Visualize, believe, and remember... mind over matter.

Performing a proper warm-up while adhering to these 4 simple warm-up rules should take no longer than 10 minutes to accomplish, and will definitely bring bountiful rewards. Your body will thank you for it down the road, as your goals will be more easily reached without the the risk of injury. As well, it will aid in your concentration and visualization of your goals, not only in the gym but in all areas of your life.

Before attempting any exercise or diet modification, always consult a fitness or medical professional.
Copyright 2015 MG Web Com. All rights reserved.   |