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Guidelines and Advice About Warm-Up Exercise

Increase Blood Flow to Muscles, Tendons, Joints and Cardiovascular System
Light Exercises to Reduce Risk of Injury and Muscular Strain
Warm-Up Exercise

Fitness Benefits of Warming Up
Stretching - Advice About Fitness and Exercise

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Warm-Up Exercise Fitness Workout

Warm-Ups

Why Warm-Up Before Exercising?

To warm-up means to increase the blood flow to the muscles, joints and other parts of the body. Muscles, tendons and joints are more flexible, function more efficiently and are less prone to strain and stress, when they are warm. If you plan to raise your heart rate significantly by taking vigorous aerobic exercise, or if you intend to work your muscles harder, it's essential to start your fitness workout with light exercises to prepare your body for the main part of your exercise program.

Warming Up Reduces Sports Injuries

All professional athletes warm up before training. Because they know that warm-ups reduce the risk of injury and improve performance. Recreational fitness enthusiasts are less careful about warming up, and suffer more injuries. For example, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 775,000 children under age 15 are treated every year in hospital emergency rooms in the United States for sports injuries. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, up to 50 percent of the injuries that are sustained in organized sports are preventable. One way to protect your body against such muscle strains and injuries is by performing a pre-exercise warm-up.

How to Warm Up Before Exercise?

A warming-up routine should be performed continuously for at least 5-10 minutes at a low intensity.

  • Start with some general light exercises, covering the main muscle groups in the chest (pecs), back (lats), torso (abs), buttocks (glutes), thighs (quads) and calf.
  • Then, when your muscles are warmed up, spend a few minutes stretching. The main muscles to be stretched are those to be used in the main part of your workout, or sport. Stretching exercises should be performed slowly, as quick stretching movements can lead to muscle strain.

Light Warm-Up Exercises

These will vary according to the type of workout planned, and may include: slow walking (forwards and backwards), simple calisthenics or aerobic exercises, slow cycling or rowing and so on. The point is, all these exercises should be performed slowly and gently. After 5-8 minutes of this low-intensity routine, you should do a minimum of 2-5 minutes of stretching.

Stretching to Warm Up Muscles

Quadriceps Warm Up Stretch
Stand on one leg, bend the other leg behind you. Grasp your heel and pull up towards your butt. Repeat with the other leg.

Hamstring Warm Up Stretch
Lie on your back and hold behind the knee of one leg keeping the other leg straight. Straighten the leg that you are holding until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg. Repeat with the other leg.

Thigh Warm Up Stretch
Stand with the legs wide apart and lean your body weight over to one side, bending the weight bearing leg until you feel a stretch in the inner thigh of the straight leg. Repeat with the other leg.

Gluteal Warm Up Stretch
Lie on your back and bend one knee into your chest using your hands, keeping the other leg straight. Repeat with the other leg.

Stretching the Torso Warm Up Stretch
Stand with one arm raised above the head and lean over to the opposite side. Repeat on the other side.

Pectoral Warm Up Stretch
Clasp hands behind your back keeping the elbows as straight as possible, pull back shoulders and hold.

Triceps Warm Up Stretch
Raise arm to be stretched above the head, bend the elbow and hold onto the elbow to be stretched with the other hand, pushing backwards.

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