Finding time to get a workout in during a busy day might make you skip the warmup. When you’re tempted, just remember that “get ready, get set” comes before “go.” Experts say the getting ready part, pre-workout stretches, are critical to boosting your heart rate and circulation. All agree it’s helpful to warm up your muscles before a workout if you do your warm-up the right way.
Static Warm-up Routines
Fitness people talk about two different types of warm-ups: dynamic warm-ups and static stretching. Static stretches are done while you remain in place. You elongate a muscle and hold the stretch. Side stretches are a good example.
These stretches help with recovery after a workout and are great for cooldowns, but they can hinder performance before a workout. That’s because they release tension, relaxing muscles and diminishing strength.
Dynamic Pre-workout Stretches
Experts recommend dynamic warm-ups before a workout. Dynamic means “in motion.” Dynamic warm-ups include such activities as jogging, jumping, skipping rope, and lunges. While static stretches decrease blood flow, dynamic stretches boost blood flow and enhance strength, range of motion, and power. They also help with mobility that can improve your workout performance. Active warm-up exercises are beneficial before any type of workout, from a weightlifting session to a game of racquetball. A warm-up program can optimize your performance and help prevent injury.
The best warm-up routines are based on movements similar to your workout moves but at a lower intensity. Warming-up exercises for a run should look different from the warming-up exercises before a kickboxing session. Walking briskly might serve the runner and jumping jacks the kickboxer. Arm circles and leg swings are good warming-up exercises for swimmers, while glute bridges are a fit for cyclists.
If you are doing MYX workouts, don’t sweat the “get ready, get set” part of the equation. Every video workout includes a dynamic warm-up to get your body prepared for action.