Why do you warm up?

When I ask my friends and clients this question, the common responses I get are “to get loose” and “so I don’t hurt myself.”

Both of these are great reasons and intentions.

An effective warm-up:

  • prevents injury and help you get more out your workout
  • increases blood flow to the muscles
  • increases lubrication in the joints
  • raises body temperature
  • fires up your nervous system

It also “primes” your mind and muscles so they’re activated for what you're about to do; your muscles will be working more effectively and efficiently.

Except, most people don't do this. 

Start warming up in a way that gives your body what it needs and helps you get a better workout.

If you’re generally a “tight” person who has limited range of motion in most of the exercises you do, you want to focus your warm-up on increasing mobility, flexibility, and range of motion. 

If you’re a “lax” or “loose-jointed”individual, you need to “tighten” up a bit and give joints more stability.

This video gives you two warmups. The first one is if you think you're tight, and the second one if you feel you're more lax. 

Some (okay, almost all) of these exercises have been stolen from my time at Cressey Sports Performance.

Expect your warmup routine to take a little longer at first when you start adding in these exercises. But after you run through them a few times it will take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete. 

If 10 minutes is still too long for you to spend on a proper warm-up, think about this: 

What’s worse? 

Getting injured and having to take a few days or weeks off from your workouts? Or doing a few extra moves that will only take you the length of three to four Justin Bieber songs to do?