Often overlooked due to lack of time, warming up before sport or training is essential: it improves the nervous system’s ability to stimulate muscles and allows them to be more powerful. According to scientific studies dedicated to the subject, increasing the temperature of the muscles by only one degree would in fact improve the results of the exercise by 2 to 5%.
There is actually no reason not to warm up, especially since it often takes a few minutes to prepare the body for exercise, especially in cold weather. Before practicing an aerobic sport, the most commonly adopted warm-ups include low-intensity exercises targeting the muscles involved in the chosen sporting activity. But in reality, a warm-up has to be thought of on a case-by-case basis.
Warm up before a workout
The fastest and most effective way to warm up, and the most common, is to perform movements similar to the exercises you will perform during your workout, but at a lower intensity. For aerobic exercises such as walking, running or swimming, experts recommend starting with a low intensity level and gradually increasing it for 5-10 minutes. This type of approach is particularly suitable for bodyweight exercises, which require preparation if you are a beginner or if you have difficulty putting together 10 intense movements, such as pushups or squats. In this case, it is especially advisable to perform 2 to 3 sets of the same exercise, but simplifying the task. For example, you can do push-ups with your knees on the ground before doing the normal ones.
On the other hand, if you’re heading towards resistance exercises like weight training, experts recommend a completely different workout. They recommend performing an aerobic exercise, followed by a dynamic warm-up mobilizing the whole body, and then ending with specific exercises for the sport practiced. This warm-up aims to activate the whole body to prepare it for intense bodybuilding.
Among the recommended aerobic exercises are jumping rope for 2 or 3 minutes, jumping rope for 1 minute but jumping higher this time, lunges (5 push-ups per leg and with a weight in hand), making about thirty jumping jacks, 10 to 20 push-ups, plus exercises that work the trunk, legs and heart. As for the dynamic warm-up, you can repeat each exercise 3 to 6 times, gradually increasing the difficulty. If you have chosen to wear weights, increase the number of pounds by reducing the number of repetitions.
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