Weight training is a rewarding exercise you can engage in to improve your body shape, help you gain muscle, increase your strength and better your overall health. However, lifting weights is a strenuous activity that requires your body to be loose and limber prior to beginning it. If your body is not prepared, injuries can result. The following are several steps on how to best warm up in advance of participating in a weight training regiment.
How Does Warming Up Prevent You from Injury?
Typically, those of you who partake in weight training do not engage in significant exercise prior to beginning the regiment, meaning your muscles are tight and stiff and not yet ready to withstand the strain weight lifting places on them. Under such circumstances, your muscles are vulnerable and subject to snapping or tearing.
In addition to preparing your muscles, warm up exercises help stimulate blood flow. Physical activity will increase the amount of blood your muscles are receiving, making them stronger and better equipped to handle the rigors of weight training. In addition, a proper warm up routine will help make your joints more flexible. This flexibility will enable your joints to stretch and pull with greater authority.
How Should You Decide the Best Warm Up Routine for You?
The type of warm up program you should partake in depends upon several different factors, including your age, your weight, the kind of shape your in, your overall physical health, the type of lifting you plan to engage in and the body part you are most hoping to strengthen.
Usually, an older person will require a longer period of warm up time. As you age, your joints get stiffer which makes warm up prior to exercise even more critical in avoiding injury. If you are older, an appropriate warm up period is anywhere from 20 minutes to a half hour. A younger person may be ready for weight training after only a few minutes warm up.
Which Warm Up Exercises Will Best Prepare You for Weight Training?
Again, this will be contingent upon the particular form of lifting you will be doing, as well as the muscles you most want to benefit from the workout. A popular belief is that stretching is a valuable warm up tool. Several experts do not agree. Some have said stretching does little, if anything, to reduce your risk of injury and does not get your body moving or promote blood flow.
A smart strategy to employ is to exercise the muscles and body parts you will be relying on heavily to perform the specific weight training regiment you will be partaking in. For example, should you plan to lift lying in the supine position, your arms will be doing the majority of the work. In such instances, you should exercise your arms in advance. Should you be conducting leg lifts, you should warm up your legs. If your regiment includes lifting weight off the ground, warm up activities centered on limbering up your hips, neck and back would be prudent.
It is also recommended you include general warm up activities like jumping rope and cycling to your warm up routine. These exercises often require the use of many muscles and are designed to get your entire body into motion. General warm up undertakings are not only believed to increase your strength level, but also improve blood flow, raise your body temperature and ignite your nervous system.
Finding an appropriate warm up strategy or pre workout routine in advance of participating in a weight training regiment takes some planning and effort. However, if you are cognizant of some important variables like your age, your overall health, your weight, the type of workout you are planning to participate in, what you hope to gain from your experience and are open to trying different things, you should be able to craft a plan that helps you maximize your workout and, above all, avoid getting injured.