The biggest mistake most people make in the gym is to ignore a good warm up, especially when lifting weights. A quick walk on the treadmill and a few static stretches is pretty much the norm but is it really setting up your body and nervous system to perform at its best?
Here is GLOW FOR LIFE’s quick guide to warming up for weight training.
Start off with 5-10 minutes of steady cardio to increase the body temperature. The treadmill, bike or rower are all ways to get the body moving and warmed up.
Once you feel that you’re properly warmed up, move onto some Dynamic stretches which will prepare the muscles and joints for the activity you’re about to perform. A dynamic stretch involves movement as opposed to static stretches that are stationary (best performed post workout).
A few examples of Dynamic stretches are: Arm rotations, leg swings, lunge and twist.
A few examples of Static stretches are: stretches are: Seated hamstring stretch,
Here is a great video of a dynamic full body warm up routine.
A safe approach with dynamic stretching is to start with a small Range Of Motion (ROM) and each time try to extend a touch further, building up to maximum range over several attempts.
When it comes to weight lifting, our most important Glow For Life tip is to ALWAYS start with a relatively light weight for each exercise (if squats, do a full set of body weight squats before even picking up additional weight). Think of this as an active stretch within your workout routine. This will help get your muscles and joints primed for the heavier weights to come. It will also help you perform a lot better in the session too.
Slowly begin adding weight to each exercise and decreasing your amount of reps until you reach your desired working load.
Similarly, for upper body exercises start with just the bar and keep the reps higher. Then start adding weight and decreasing your reps until you reach your desired working load.
So no matter what the exercise start warm, do dynamic stretches and always start light. This will help you avoid injury.
If you are in need of some online coaching to enhance your workout routine please contact us here and we can discuss how we can help. Train safe…