This is why warm-up before training is so important

You love your sports routine? Wonderful. We don’t want to take that away from you. But: The always same movements are a great strain on your body – and the risk of injury increases. So don’t even wait until it pinches somewhere.

Better: spice up your plan with a little prevention. Studies show that athletes who prepare themselves for the upcoming stress with an extensive warm-up are up to 85 percent less injured. So preparation is everything on the way to a stronger body, more performance and increased fitness.

Exercising like this burns calories longer

Why should you warm up before sports?

Effective training requires a meaningful structure. This is similar to baking a cake: For a delicious cake, you need a conclusive recipe with the right ingredients and the right amounts. It’s similar when combining training units. The exercises in the warm-up correspond to greasing the baking tin: without it, something will break quickly. They should therefore be chosen sensibly and according to your training goal.

Warm-up Mobility and stabilization exercises prepare you optimally for the coming strain. © Andreonegin / Shutterstock.com

What does a warm-up do?

The purpose of the warm-up is to prepare you both physically and mentally for the stress. During the warm-up the following processes take place in your body:

  • Temperature: The core body temperature is increased, your body is brought to the optimal operating temperature.
  • metabolism: The body requires significantly more energy during sport than when at rest. Therefore the metabolism is stimulated during the warm-up.
  • Cardiovascular system: The warm-up also has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, the heart rate is slowly increased, allowing more blood per minute to be transported through the body.
  • Muscles: The muscles are supplied with lots of blood and thus receive an extra portion of oxygen and nutrients. This makes them more supple, more powerful and less prone to injury.
  • Joints, tendons and ligaments: Through movement, the entire locomotor system is supplied with fluid, the production of synovial fluid is increased and the cartilage is supplied with valuable nutrients.

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On top of that, the warm-up improves coordination and increases attention. It should generate fun and anticipation for the upcoming workout and prepare you for the strain. You will notice that the workout is much easier if you have prepared your body well.

Which exercises are suitable for warming up?

Your training should always start with a dynamic functional warm-up. Take 5 to 10 minutes of your time to prepare yourself for the upcoming load – or significantly longer before a high-intensity workout.

It is important that the exercises mobilize all the major joints from head to toe and activate all the major muscle groups such as the gluteal, hip, trunk and shoulder muscles. Good warm-up exercises are for example:

  • Shoulder circles
  • Deep lunge with rotation
  • Deep dynamic squat
  • Spinal mobilization in a quadruped position
  • Rotation in a four-footed stand
  • Upper body circles

Perform each exercise for 30 to 45 seconds to achieve the desired effect. This functional way of warming up has nothing to do with static stretching exercises, but should get your body moving through the dynamic execution.

What is the normal heart rate during warm-up?

How high the heart rate should be during the warm-up depends on several factors such as age and resting heart rate. Therefore, there is no generally valid number as a recommendation.

Basically, however, it can be said that the pulse should reach about 60 percent of the maximum heart rate. For example, a 30-year-old woman with a resting pulse of 70 beats per minute would have a pulse of 140 beats per minute.

Heart rate: The ideal training pulse for sports

Which muscle groups should be warmed up first?

To increase the body core temperature as effectively as possible, you should start with the large muscle groups such as leg and buttock muscles. This will make you warm up more quickly than if you start circling with your arms, for example. After the general mobilisation, a sport-specific warm-up should follow.

Stretching Dynamic stretch exercises mobilize the joints and activate the muscles. © Andreonegin / Shutterstock.com

The best warm-up moves for strength, cardio and course

With the following measures to prepare for cardio and strength training and for the course programs in the gym, you will have little effort, but a lot of benefit.

How do I warm up for weight training?

Many favourite exercises (such as bench press, knee bends with barbell or lat pull) mainly form the large muscle groups. Although this is nice and desired, they neglect the smaller, deeper lying muscle structures. And exactly these are important for the stability of your body and help to avoid imbalances.

Fascial rolling is a good measure to prevent this type of injury. Before each workout you should roll out the denser muscle groups for about 5 minutes.

Let’s get on the roll: That’s why fascial training is so good

In addition, you should ideally add the following exercises to your strength plan at least twice a week:

  1. Arm-lift combo: Prone position on an inclined bench (alternatively on the floor), feet with the tips in place. Stretch both arms long over the head, the body forms an I. Lower both arms sideways to the Y-position. Lower arms further until the body forms a T. Hold each position for 5 seconds. 10 to 15 repetitions. Too easy? Option: standing with dumbbells.
  2. Belly-fry: Supine position, stretch both arms upwards. Raise legs and bend knees at 90 degree angle. Head lies relaxed on the floor.

    Now lower the left arm above the head, lower the right leg to the floor, do not lay down. Powerfully return to the start, repeat in opposite directions and continue in alternation. 10 to 15 times per side.

  3. Squat crawl: Hip-wide stance. Bend over and rest hands on floor in front of body, keeping legs as straight as possible. Crawl with hands forward until you reach the push-up. Torso firm. Run with feet towards hands, stand upright, lower buttocks and go into deep knee bend. 15 repetitions.

    Use this practice trio as a warm-up program before you grab the heavy weights.

What kind of warm-up is good for the cardio unit?

In endurance training, your body works as one unit, the limbs are connected by joints and thus form a kinetic chain. If certain muscle groups weaken or cramp, other muscles compensate. The movements are then less functional and sometimes more unstable. The consequences can be painful inflammation, irritation and overstretching.

Pain treatment – when does heat help and when does cold help?

Whether for running, biking or for the crosstrainer – dynamic stretching and body weight moves help to loosen firm tissue and improve mobility in the lower body. At the same time, the core and buttocks are activated and firmed, so you are ready to add stability and speed to your next cardio workout. Add the following moves to your routine 2 or 3 times per week:

  1. Leg-lift combo: Lateral position on the left. Raise and lower right leg stretched out. Now come into prone position, bend right knee, sole of foot up. Activate buttocks and release the right hip from the floor, lower. Do each move 15 times, then repeat on the other side.
  2. Lunges with rotation: Hip-wide stance. Take a big step back with the right leg, bend both knees up to 90 degree angle. Keep upper body strong and upright, rotate Core powerfully to the left. Then return to the start.

    Change sides after 10 to 15 repetitions.

  3. Fire hydrant: Stand four-footed, but place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your pelvis. Build up strong tension in the torso. Raise the right leg angled to the right side, do not rotate the pelvis. Then stretch the leg straight backwards, lower the knees in a guided motion, do not lay them down. 15 repetitions with right, then with left.

How do I warm up for the fitness course?

HIIT Boot camp and fat burners are not only known for the many calories burned. Unfortunately, the combination of jumps, turns, explosive movements and short breaks also put a lot of strain on your joints: the susceptibility to injury is high if you are not strong and warm enough to safely cushion the load. Instability in the joints often leads to knee and back pain, even in the shoulder it can pinch.

So your HIIT -session even more effective Warm-up The feeling of being completely exhausted after a tough workout? Irreplaceable! © Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

Brake the load! This short stretching unit in combination with strengthening brings two things: Strong muscles, which stabilize the joints, and at the same time more mobility. You will be able to perform better, effectively increase the number of repetitions and reduce the strain while speeding up. To get off to a good start in the course, it is best to warm up beforehand with the following moves:

  1. Stretch the foot and calf: Stand upright in front of a wall. Walk up the wall a few centimeters with the toes of your left foot, keeping the heel on the ground, the foot is flexed. This way you will certainly feel a good stretch in the heel, around the ankle and in the calf. Hold tension for 30 seconds, then stretch the other foot in the same way.
  2. Deep knee bend: Hip-wide stance. Bend both knees, push the buttocks backwards and lower the pelvis widely.

    Keep upper body stable and upright, do not tip forward. Head in extension of the spine. Hold the lowest point for at least 10, at best 30 seconds, then straighten up powerfully into a standing position, activate the bottom. Repeat three to five times.

  3. One-legged cross lifting: Stand upright, bend left knee slightly and release right foot from floor. Now tilt forward from the pelvis, keep upper body stable and lower with straight back.

    Right leg goes up at the same time to the standing scale. Balance, then return to the start. After 5 slow, guided repetitions change leg.

With an extensive warm-up you prepare yourself optimally for your training session and tune both your body and your head to the workout. This reduces the risk of injury and increases the fun factor at the same time, because you can work out to the full.

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