Improve Your Workout Results With An Effective Warmup

By: Craig Nybo

Without a proper warm-up and cool down as part of your workouts, you cannot hope to perform at maximum capacity. A proper warm-up before exercise is necessary for two reasons; one, without proper warm-up exercises, you run the risk of injuring yourself; two, your goal is to perform each exercise with precision and at peak performance; you can't do this without performing warm-up exercises.

For strength training workouts, your first warm-up should take place even before you hit the weight room. To get the most out of your workout, you should lift heavy. A good warm-up prepares the body for the high intensity lifting ahead. At the beginning of your workout, jump on a cardiovascular machine of your choice--the treadmill or elliptical are both good options; you may also hit the road for a jog. The important thing is to perform five to ten minutes of low intensity exercise. This will get the blood flowing and prime the muscles for heavy lifting. Don't mistake your warm-up for a full cardiovascular workout. If you overdo it, you can impede your ability to perform when you hit the weights. It is essential to lift weights at full capacity. If you spend too much energy on your warm-up, you will not realize the full muscle growth benefits of your weight lifting exercise.

You must also perform warm-up sets before each resistance training exercise. For each exercise, you will select a working weight, the weight you will be using to burn muscle tissue during lifting. Before racking up your working weight, perform a warm-up set with half the weight you expect to lift. Put 50% of your working weight on the bar and perform two or three reps with a slow deliberate cadence. After finishing your warm up set, take a break and evaluate how you feel. If you feel ready to lift the full working weight, go for it. If not, rack up 60% of your working weight and perform an additional two or three reps of exercises. After one or two warm-up sets, you should be ready to move on to your full working set.

It is essential, especially while lifting heavy weights, to perform warm-up exercises to prepare the muscles for maximum exertion. Warm-ups pump blood into the muscles, readying them to perform at peak levels. With proper warm-ups, you will lessen the risk of injury, perform better in the gym, and recover more efficiently from your workouts.

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