Whole Body Warm-Up Exercises Before a Workout
Although the adage goes, practice makes perfect; we’re more fond of the phrase, practice makes progress. A warm-up and cool-down routine is an essential part of the process. It’s the countless small good habits in the dark that lead to success in the light.
An ideal warm-up routine will zero in on dynamic movements to increase blood flow and muscle temperature without causing muscular fatigue. The primary purpose of a warm-up routine is to speed up oxygen delivery to the muscles intended to be engaged in your planned exercise, allowing the body to move quicker and more efficiently. Warm-up exercises before workout sessions can also improve flexibility and assist with motor-neuron patterns for the routine ahead.
As Serena says, “Luck has nothing to do with it because I have spent many, many hours, countless hours, on the court working for my one moment in time, not knowing when it would come.” While warm-up routines for athletes such as Serena may last as long as 40 minutes, most warm-up exercises before workout routines should generally take between two and 10 minutes to prepare your body sufficiently for the training session ahead.
Best Warm-Up Routine Before Workout
“A quote I often use is ‘motion is lotion’,” Gold’s Gym Personal Trainer Katie Merrick tells Well+Good. “A tight body is more prone to get injured if you try to move it too quickly or lift too heavily without your muscles being prepared.”
"When I think of a warmup, I think of dynamic movements to prepare your body for a workout. You perform movements that will increase your heart rate while preparing the right muscles to move well for your workout," says Merrick. "Squats, push-ups, sit-ups and overhead shoulder presses are some of my favourite warmup movements. They target the majority of your body: legs, butt, chest, back, core and shoulders, biceps, and triceps."
Pre Workout Stretches
As for pre-workout stretches, these should generally be dynamic stretches - where no position is held for more than a few seconds - and always follow an active warm-up rather than precede it. “You need to make tissues and tendons compliant before beginning exercise,” Duane Knudson, professor of kinesiology at California State University, told the New York Times.
The FIFA 11+ program, for example, is one of the most effective dynamic warm-ups in modern exercise, reducing the risk of injuries for soccer players while improving performance. Broken down into three parts and consisting of 15 activities in total, the FIFA 11+ focuses on:
1. Slow-speed running exercises coupled with active and partner stretching.
2. Core and leg strength exercises, along with balance, plyometrics and agility.
3. Moderate/high-speed running exercises integrated with cutting and pivoting movements.
Though designed explicitly with footballers in mind, studies have shown the FIFA 11+ can also help reduce the risk of injury among basketball players, as it’s an excellent full-body warm-up exercise that focuses on agility, dynamic movements and strengthening exercises.