The proper way to warm-up before working out can be the key to success

women more fit than men

Many of you may be back at the gym working off the holidays and getting yourself in shape for summer clothes.  Proper nutrition is important for hitting your goals, but in order to stay healthy for your work-outs, the proper way to warm-up before working out can be the key to success.

Proper warm-up activities help protect the body from injury and actually will optimize the results of your work-out. This becomes even more important as you get older.  Follow these warm-up activities to get you prepared for your work-out.

  1. Get the blood moving – Plan on doing about 10 minutes of light cardio to get the heart rate up and muscles moving.  The best cardio machines for this are ellipticals and rowers, because they include both upper and lower body in the movements.  Treadmills, bicycles and stair climbers are good but primarily target lower body. This is performed at a walking or light jog pace.
  2. Focus on your work-out – Focus on the body parts you are working out for the day.  This will make your warm-up more efficient.
  3. Spend more time on trouble areas – For example, if your shoulder range of motion is tight, then spend more time on reducing this tension.
  4. Dynamic Stretch – Don’t static stretch, putting the muscle in static tension.  This will actually reduce your workout performance.  Perform dynamic stretches, actively moving muscles through a range of motion. Check out the video link below for dynamic stretches.
  5. Use body or light weights only – Jumping on a machine or performing a lift with a moderate to heavy weight right off the bat is a sure way to get injured.  The first set for the exercise should be light or body weight only with 15 or more repetitions.  This prepares the body for the specific movement, then you can gradually work up to your work-out weight.

Dynamic Stretch Video

These stretches in this video do not take in account any pre-existing muscular skeletal conditions that may limit the ability to perform them.  Please consult a healthcare professional before starting any work-out program.