A set of properly selected exercises helps to stimulate the body and prepare it for high physical effort, and additionally improves the effectiveness of workout. Check out what a proper warm-up should look like!
Exercises that stimulate the body are very important for strength training, cardio, running, swimming, cycling or interval training. A proper warm-up reduces the risk of injury, makes joints more flexible by increasing their range of motion, oxygenates the body so it gains more energy, dilates blood vessels, and prepares the heart muscle for exercise.
The warm-up also raises the temperature of the whole body, which has an impact on reducing the load on the muscles during exercise and protecting the body from overheating during the main workout. Preparing the body for intense exercise significantly reduces the formation of soreness or painful feeling of it, allows the body to recover faster and facilitates mental attitude and concentration for the upcoming training.
The set of exercises and their intensity should be adapted to the type of training. There is no universal warm-up. However, it is possible to distinguish the basic elements that make up a properly conducted warm-up. The basis is the activation of most muscle parts, especially legs, buttocks, abdomen and arms.
A short set of exercises is divided into two parts: a general warm-up and the proper one. The first one is aimed at raising the body temperature and stimulating most of the body muscles. The best exercises are aerobic exercises, such as jumping jacks, trotting in place or jumping on a skipping rope. The actual part is to focus on specific muscles that will work more intensively during the main workout. This important part of the warm-up should be properly adapted to the later exercises. It is crucial to stretch the muscles and stimulate the joints, for example by performing circular movements. It is estimated that a proper warm-up should last between 10 and even 20 minutes.
One of the basic exercises during a warm-up is to work your arm and the opposite leg simultaneously. This movement is commonly known from school PE classes. The exercise consists in lifting the straight leg vigorously and touching its tip with the opposite hand. Perform 10 repetitions on each side.
This exercise is performed while running in place. Skip A is a dynamic lifting of the knees towards the chest. The leg should be bent at a right angle and the thighs should be parallel to the ground. Skip C is an exercise in which the athlete is to strike the buttocks with the heels of the feet while running. The feet must be naturally thrown backwards so that they are free to touch the back of the body. The exercise works well before workouts that include elements of running, such as tennis, squash or soccer.
The warm-up is the right time to stimulate the joints and muscles of the entire body, so a good way to do this activation is to perform circular movements of specific limbs. The training set is to perform laps of each part of the body in turn. The athlete should start with circular movements in both directions from the head, shoulders, forearms, wrists, then hips, knees, whole legs, and finally ankles and feet. The exercise stimulates the joints and muscles of the entire body and helps to make them more flexible.
The warm-up can also include some basic exercises that will stimulate circulation, strengthen the body and prepare the muscles for intense exercise. This type of warm-up includes abdomens, jumping jacks, a few minutes of trotting in place, push-ups and squats.
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