When working out, it is important to tailor your warmup to whatever exercises you will be doing.
Warming up is key because it increases blood movement to your muscles which brings oxygen and nutrients to them to help with exercise and movement. As well, warming up properly for exercise will help stretch your muscles and your joints to prepare them for wider ranges of movement during exercise.
Dynamic Stretching vs. Static
You may have already started implementing stretching at the beginning of working out, but the question is are you doing the right type of stretching?
You may be making the mistake of doing static stretching prior to exercise. Static stretching is where you are holding your muscles in a fixed position at their maximum length for around 45 seconds which increases the flexibility of the muscles. When you do static stretching prior to exercise, you a stretching your muscles while they are cool which can result in injury as well as decreased explosiveness during your work out. Instead, try implementing dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching that moves your muscles in a full range of motion for mimic functional movements during exercise. They aim to stretch the muscles while warming them up to prevent injury.
To properly get your muscles and heart ready before going for a run, you can do a five-minute dynamic warming-up exercise that will loosen and warm up your muscles.
Some exercises include:
Grab one foot behind you, pull toward your bum. Release, step forward; switch legs. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Start standing with feet together. Extend right leg straight out in front of you as you bring left hand to tap right toes. Lower leg and step forward; repeat on opposite side. Continue for 30 seconds.
From standing, bend left knee and lift leg to hip level, then rotate out to 90 degrees. Bring leg back to front; lower foot and switch sides. Repeat for 30 seconds.
From standing, lift arms to the side until they form a 90-degree angle with your body. Slowly move your arms in small circles forward. Continue for 30 seconds.
To elevate your heart rate and increase blood flow to your muscles think about doing a few strides at the end of your warmup. Find a relatively flat area that is 50-100 m in length. Start of by jogging and gradually increase your speed to 90% of your maximum sprint. When you are coming to the end of the stride, start to slow and finish the stride in a walk. Repeat this 3-5 times.
Like running, you need to properly warm up your body for weightlifting to prepare it to lift heavy weights. For full body strength training, try and target all muscles during the warming-up exercises.
Some exercises include:
Start from a standing position. With your hands on your hips, step one foot out in front. Bend both knees simultaneously and descend until the back knee touches the ground. Drive your weight through the front foot as you step back into the starting position. Repeats for 8 lunges on each side for 3 sets of exercise.
To start, move your body into a plank position with either your feet or knees on the floor, depending on strength. Bend your arms out to the side and lower yourself down until there is a 90-degrees bend in your elbows. Keeping your core engaged throughout, exhale and push yourself up back into the starting position. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 pushups.
Perform jumping jacks at a moderate pace for 3 sets of 30 seconds to increase heart rate.
Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your knees bent with your feet planted into the floor. Push through your heels with your core and glutes engaged to lift your legs and torso up off the ground until your knees, hips, and shoulders are inline. Keep you head, shoulders, and feet on the ground the entire time. Lower yourself down and repeat for 3 sets of 8.
*Ankle and Wrist Circles
In warming up ankles and wrists, rotate them each 10 times in both directions.