By: Corbin Williams, NPTI-CPT
Personal Trainer/Nutrition Coach
This month we welcome fall back into our lives. This is one of my favorite times of year. Cold brisk mornings followed by cool afternoons and perfect evenings to have a bonfire with friends. The leaves are changing on the trees and falling to the ground. Yes this truly is a spectacular time of year. But with that comes an important factor in your work out. The Warm up!!
The warm up phase of your work out is something a lot of us tend to skimp out on. We look at it as “Not so important but I’ll do a little bit anyway”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. WHY is the warm up so important? Let’s discuss quickly what happens when you work out “cold”. To make this an easy mental picture, imagine a hard plastic table. Now if you try to stretch that table from both ends it would be very difficult and would likely snap. Now imagine that same table but let’s think about really heating it up with a torch. It now stretches real easy. When you work out “cold” you are most likely going to obtain an injury if you don’t warm up. It’s simple as that. But this is only part of the reason for getting in a good quality warm up. The following is a list of benefits from a proper warm up:
1. Faster muscle contraction and relaxation
2. Increased rate of force and reaction time
3. Increased muscle strength and power
4. Lower viscosity in muscles and joints to help move more smoothly and with less resistance (like oil in a car,
thick when it’s cold but thins out when its heated up and performs better)
5. Improve oxygen delivery by increasing body temperature
6. Increase blood flow for muscle activation
7. Enhances metabolic reactions
What is a good warm up then? To start you can do an easy jog or skipping or combination similar for 5-10 minutes then as your body temperature begins to go up you can begin to be more specific with your warm up. This is another 8-12 minutes of dynamic stretching and warm up. This should include all the range of motions required for your sport or activity. Increase the intensity gradually till you are now ready to begin your workout. All in all, your warm up will be best if you devote 10 -20 minutes to it. If you are short on time give a good 10 minutes, but make them count.
Really focus on this part and your work outs will thank you for it. Just remember now its cooler outside so that means you might have to give that little extra time getting warmed up properly. Now go get warmed up and get your work out in!!!
Corbin Williams, NPTI-CPT
Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach
Certified Nutrition Coach
Graduated from the National Personal Training Institute
Owner of GetReal Training, LLC
GetReal, Get Results