Are you looking to get more out of your workout? No matter what type of workout you are doing, the best way to start your workout is with a quality warm up.
There are two aspects to a quality warm up the physical aspect and the mental aspect.
Physically speaking, your blood will start flowing to the areas of the body that you are using, distributing more oxygen and nutrients to your body. Your heart will start pumping faster, giving it the much needed increased intensity to keep it strong and healthy. And, both your muscles and joints will get prepared for more rigorous movement.
Psychologically speaking, you are preparing for a good workout. The “feel-good” chemicals are activated in your brain. Your adrenaline starts pumping. You are getting into “the zone.” And, you are starting to slow down all of the general mind-chatter that consumes your every day life.
A quality workout is just as important for the mental aspect as it is for the physical aspect. Before you start your warm up, think about your intention for your workout. Do you want to have a workout that is going to give you results or do you want to go through the motions just because it’s “healthy?”
Starting out with a good warm up sets the tone for a good workout. You will get more pleasure out of working out once you start to incorporate this workout philosophy into your routine.
Now you might ask, “What is a quality warm up?”
There are many different types of warm ups you can do. Primarily, you want to get your heart rate up and get every part of your body moving in ways that you are going to them during your workout. Here is a sample warm-up:
Start by setting your intention
Get your joints moving with head/neck/shoulder/hip/knee/ankle rolls
Get your heart rate up jumping jacks/ jump rope/ high knees/ jog in place/ (2-5 minutes)
Get your muscles ready 10 of each with no weights: lunges/ squats/ push-ups/ reach down to your toes, walk out to a plank position, walk your hands back and stand up.
Stretch your muscles alternating stretches (do 3-5 times on each side, hold for 10-20 seconds then switch): quads, side to side lunges, hamstrings, runners lunge with a twist, triceps, deltoids
One more set of get your heart rate up.
My goal for you is to BREAK A SWEAT during your warm up. If you start eliminating toxins from your body and get those feel-good chemicals flowing from your brain at the beginning of your workout rather then the middle or the end of your workout, you will enjoy your workout much more!