Warm Up Exercises - What, How, When, Why

What are warm up exercises? How do you warm up? When? Do I really need to warm up? What happens if I don't?

These were some of the questions that I received when I asked some friends and family members what they did not know about warming up. I was surprised to learn that some did not even know what are warm up exercises.

Well, it goes to show how confusing things can be. You might have tried searching online for answers, but all you get are conflicting facts. Nothing seems to make sense. But don't worry, all your questions will get answered here.

For whatever reason if you feel that my answers are not enough, you can always contact me and I will be more than happy to help you out.

warm up exercises is the first thing to a great workout

What Are Warm Up Exercises?

Warming up basically means to warm up the muscles in your body so that they will be able to cope with the workouts that you are about to undertake.

Warming up consists of two parts. The first is regular aerobic exercise to get your heart rate up while the second is stretching exercises.

Please keep in mind that you need to do some aerobics first, before beginning your stretching exercises. Some people wonder why this is so.

This is simply because, when you have not done any aerobic exercises, your muscles are cool as they are at rest and not engaging in any activity. Therefore, stretching cool muscles will inevitably cause injuries. In worst cases, muscle tears and ligament problems.

How Do You Do Warm Up Exercises?

The rule of thumb is to start jogging or doing star jumps, until your heart rate is up, you are breathing harder and you start to perspire a little. These are indicators that you have properly warmed up.

After which, you may take a one minute break where you walk around and begin your stretching exercises. See the various stretching exercises.

Stretching is pretty simple and is not time consuming at all. I daresay that you will take less than 10 minutes to fully stretch all the major muscle groups in your body, like your quads, biceps and hamstrings.

When Should You Do Warm Up Exercises?

Warm up exercises should be done before beginning your workout routines. This will help your muscles better prepare for the different exercises that you are about to begin. Therefore, warming up directly helps to reduce risks of getting injuries.

Despite that, it doesn't mean that you should stop stretching during exercise itself. For example, after completing a set of push ups, you can choose to stretch your chest and arms, before continuing with the next workout you have in mind.

This actually ensures that you keep your muscles ever ready!

Why Do We Need To Warm Up?

Exercises require our muscles to handle heavy loads. In the case of push ups, we require our arms to support a good deal of our body weight with every repetition. Besides that, other exercises like tuck jumps involve explosive motions of the leg muscles.

Different workouts will demand our muscles to move in a different way, to flex or contract in a specific manner. When you engage in warming up exercises, where you do aerobic exercises and stretching, it lengthens the muscles, so that they can move better.

Muscle injuries often come about because a person refused to warm up, therefore his or her muscles simply could not cope with the intensity of the workout. You might think that muscle aches and cramps are minor injuries and can be taken lightly but that is not the case.

It might not be serious in the sense that, your muscles are torn, your ligaments are damaged. However, such aches can affect you for days, weeks, even months. Even normal activity like washing dishes can be a pain in the behind.

Therefore, don't risk it and start warming up properly every time you are about to begin a workout. It is easy, does not take up a lot of your time and is extremely beneficial.

Final Words From Azri

Stay away from injuries. They're bad, naughty things to have.

Warm up exercises is not as complicated as what fitness magazines and scientific journals might make it seem. I like to keep it short and sweet for all of you. Just do some aerobic exercises, raise your heartbeat, perspire a little, then get cracking on stretching.

It is so easy. Five minutes of jogging on the spot is easily sufficient. Another five minutes to stretch yourself. Ten minutes spent on warming up. Suppose you have half an hour to work out that day, you will still have about twenty minutes left to exercise. After which will be a 5 minute cooldown.

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