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Why You MUST Warm Up

Aug 19, 2019

What is a warm - up? & Why do we warm - up?

When I would play pick up soccer, I would always start with a quick circuit of dynamic warm ups. There were always some adults who would pick on me. They would say “yeah, you better stretch! Or else you’ll end up like us!”, as they take their time holding static stretches until their faces looked like they tasted lemons for the first time.

The main idea of a warm up is to prepare your body for future movements. Whether you’re preparing for sport or a workout session, warming up is an important beginning step. You never want to stretch a “cold muscle”, so starting on a piece of cardio equipment before you perform any stretches is ideal.

When it comes to general warm ups, there are two main types: static and dynamic.

Static stretching

Static stretching is the most common type of stretching. It places a joint in an end point of range of motion and held there or a period of time. While effective for recovery purposes, it is not as effective in attaining long term range of motion. Furthermore, static stretching is contraindicated prior to resistance training exercises because it is known to lower strength levels and rate of force development.

Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching uses active range of motion that stretches muscles, but doesn’t keep the muscles in a stretched position. Instead, the muscles are moved through a full range of motion in a repeated fashion. Studies show that dynamic stretching before resistance or cardio training causes two main outcomes:

1.) Increase in body temperature.

2.) Fascia gel becomes less viscous (this is why long periods of inactivity cause muscle stiffness).

There are many ways to perform a warm - up, but what we do know is that a proper warm - up should leave you with these points:

1.) Increased muscle temperature.

2.) Prepared for increased metabolic work.

3.) Increased velocity of nerve conduction.

4.) More capillaries opened in the muscles.

5.) Prepare body and mind for movement.

Here at Fitness Together we believe in a RAMP approach. The warm ups of a 2 min jog and holding static stretches are gone. Nowadays we know that a more dynamic approach is the way to go. RAMP warm ups are broken down into three main sections.

1.) Raise - we want to raise our body temperature, heart rate, blood flow, rate of expiration and viscosity. Literally getting out bodies ready to move!

  • Examples: squats, lunges, cardio equipment

2.) Activate and Mobilize - we want to start activating muscles that we will be using and moving joints through ranges of motion associated with our programed exercises.

  • Examples: Resistance band work, World’s greatest stretch, inchworms, T Spine rotations

3.) Performance - at this stage, we want to make sure the client is ready to transition from warm up to performance/main workouts, basically giving the client a taste of what effort level is to come!

  • Examples: Plyometrics, medicine ball slams, jumps

If you take a look at our white board in the PACK room you will see a great RAMP warm up to get you started!

At the end of the day a warm up is meant to prepare you for future movements. So, a solid warm up should incorporate static and dynamic modalities which are geared towards you needs, programed movement and goals.

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