Answer – For performance enhancement and injury prevention. I’ve been the guy that will walk into a gym throw on some weights and just go to work. I didn’t really ever warm up because in all honesty, I didn’t want to put the effort into. It was just pure laziness really. I saw this happening a lot not only in myself but in my high school and college teammates as well. Everyone would just go through the motions, do the things that they liked, and neglect/avoid the aspects of the warm ups that they hated or didn’t feel comfortable doing. More recently, I have been really paying attention to my warm ups. I have actually been doing somewhat of a study on myself, so to speak. One day I will go in for a workout and take each movement in the listed warm up on the whiteboard for what it is and truly do it. The next day I will do only do some of them. Finally, on the day after, I will plan to be slightly late so that the warm up is basically over and it’s time for the workout. I will then commence said workout without much of a warm up.
I have conducted this study at random over the last month and have compiled the data from this study. *Disclaimer – Yes I know this wasn’t the smartest study in the world, but from what I have seen or heard in the past, there is a lot of grey area when this question is answered. My goal in doing this is to help rid the grey area*. On the days that I took the warm ups seriously and really focused on doing everything correctly, I noticed that my performance was much greater. My movement was much better. Those subtle aches and pains that come during a workout in which you are really pushing yourself are nil, and my recovery time between workouts was much less. Now on the days that I did bits/pieces, everything about the workout as well as everything after, was still much better than the days that I didn’t warm up, but the days I did bits/pieces of the warm up were nowhere near as good as the days that I really did the warm up. I’m sure you can figure out how the days were that I didn’t really warm up at all.
So what is the take away from all of this? WARM UP! And be strict. For workouts that are short and you plan to really push yourself = warm up for triple the time you plan to work. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. For workouts that are long and you plan to pace yourself = don’t overdo it in the warm up. Be specific with everything that you do, and make sure that your cardiovascular system is ready to go. Take the time that you expect to be working and cut that in half. I find these ideas to work very well, not only in myself, but in others as well. Your performance output will be much greater and will continue to increase throughout your training – PRs a Plenty! Your recovery time will speed up greatly and your risk of injury will greatly.
If any of you have questions about this article, please feel free to email me or call me at the office at 724-382-5626. I hope everyone has a wonderful day, and I wish you all the best.
Yours in Health,
- Legacy Medical Centers – Irwin
- 12116 Rte 30 Unit 2 Irwin, Pa 15642