Warm-up has always been my least favourite part of any session. This has been so since I was a kid, but for a different reason. As a younger athlete warming up was slow and boring. Now as I’m (a bit) older, warming up is a less enjoyable experience mainly because I am trying to warm up my slightly less mobile limbs and loosen off any left-over tightness from the session the day before.
Whatever your reason is for not enjoying warming up, we all feel this way, right? Well unfortunately for us there are a lot of benefits to warming up fully, and that includes warming up appropriately for whatever session it is that you have got in store. Most importantly the main benefit is that your warm up hugely impacts how much you can get out of the session – both long and short term.
1.) You will perform better.
Try to sprint 100m without warming up*. Try again after doing 30 mins of warming up. The second time will of course feel much easier and be much quicker! Aside from this, there are other aspects of your warm up which can improve your performance.
* Do not actually try this, you will be at risk of injury, see point 2!
2.) Injury prevention.
Does anyone else get to the gym and just start their workout straight away? I always warm up for track sessions, but last year I got into the habit of turning up for a weights session and going straight into the first exercise. This was probably due to laziness as a result of being tired from the full day at work, and quite honestly thinking it wouldn’t make too much difference (I was wrong). I kept picking up niggly injuries through winter and they always (coincidentally!) followed the session where I hadn’t incorporated adequate warm up.
3.) Incorporate physio exercises.
Is anyone else guilty of spending £XX to go to a physiotherapist, get given a list of exercises and stretches, religiously doing them for 3-4 days then continuing as normal without pain until the issue shockingly reoccurs? ME. For me a great way to ensure I complete all the exercises I am given is to incorporate them into my warm up routine. Top tip: don’t try to incorporate them all on one day, spread them out across your sessions, that way you’re more likely to do them all.
4.) Competition day.
For anyone who trains to compete, having a set warm up routine may be particularly beneficial on race day. As a beginner I would often turn up to races and when the nerves kicked in it would result in me doing barely any warm up and deciding that it was probably enough. Nerves make you feel tired so you’re often tricked into thinking you’ve done more warming up than you actually have. Ensuring a set warm-up routine is installed into your brain will make sure that you do enough warm up to perform as best you can and you can switch to auto pilot to calm your nerves and just go through the motions of the warm up that you know.
The list goes on.
- Write it down, know exactly what you’re doing before you arrive at your gym/track/etc.
- Develop different warm ups for each session. As well as being less boring you can incorporate the session specific exercises and different physio exercises.
- Time your warm up. Know how long you need to be in shape to perform at 100%. That way you know when you need to arrive at training / your competitions in order to have sufficient time to warm up.
Pre-workout! I recommend ELEVATE™ – Summer Berry flavour.
For those of you who are saying ‘what?’ – a pre workout is a drink which you consume around 30 mins before exercise. It really does give you a boost and I find it is really helpful before sessions which require powerful and explosive movements in the gym e.g. clean or snatch. If you’re a competitive athlete make sure your brand is tested with Informed Sport before drinking anything. Working with BULK POWDERS™ gives me piece of mind that I’m using top quality supplements, with no hidden nasties!