Why is it so important to “warm-up” before exercise?

By Fitness Manager, David Haebler

One aspect of my exercise science degree that I distinctly remember is the constant reinforcement to ensure that you engage in a quality warm-up before lifting and being dynamic with your movements. A huge aspect of that is to get the cardiorespiratory system warmed up in a quality manner. Some other aspects of a dynamic warm-up are activation drills, quick stretches with large ranges of motions, plyometrics, etc. Following are some of the benefits of a quality cardiovascular and dynamic warmup:

1. Increased blood flow and temperature. When your body is passive, it only produces 15-20% blood flow to skeletal muscles. However, after 10 minutes of total body activity, this percentage increases to 70-75%. More blood flow means higher oxygen delivery to your muscles, which will lead to better performance.

2. Increased range of motion of the joints and musculature. 

3. Nervous System Activation

4. Reduced risk of injury. Your core temperature rises during a warm-up, which helps your muscles become more pliable and reactive, thus reducing injury risk.

Basic Guidelines for a warm-up:

1. Shoot for 10 minutes of warm-up. (Walking briskly, biking, rowing, stairs, etc.)

2. Add in some drills to activate your body. (Jumping Jacks, for example are a small plyometric drill that allows for some activation of the ankle, knee, hip and nervous system.

3. Use a massage tool if you’re sore or have muscle tightness. The Hyperice massage guns or foam rollers upstairs in Re:Store Lab are great tools to use. 

Hope these tips help and if you have any questions, please reach out to us, we would love to help you on your fitness and health journey. You can reach us in person, or by phone at 503-512-5010.

-Active Fitness Team