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Thursday December 14, 2017

A great workout starts with a great warm up

A Great Workout starts with a Great Warm UpThere a few different types of people when it comes to warm ups before strength training.

There’s the guys who walk into the gym off the street and just start their workouts. They don’t do anything before; no stretching, no mobility work, no brief cardio – nothing.

Most common are the guys who either do a few minutes of stretching and a few moves like leg swings and shoulder rolls, or those who jump on the treadmill and try to break a sweat.

The last guy spends a good amount of time (15 minutes or more) performing proper mobility drills and dynamic stretches and movements. This is the guy you need to be.

If you are not performing a proper, quality warm up before you start lifting you are skipping a crucial component of training. At some point you will get injured – no two ways about it. It doesn’t matter who you are, young or old, strong or weak, male or female – it will happen. Additionally, a proper warm up primes you for the session ahead, and without it your performance will take a hit.

It’s easy to think that you only need to warm up the muscles you will be using that day, and that warm up sets will suffice. Whilst you should ALWAYS perform warm up sets to build up to the load you will be training with, it’s still imperative to get your whole body fired up. You need to activate secondary muscle groups to keep the primary muscles being worked safe.

This means involving your whole body in the warm up, but it’s a good idea to a little extra for areas of your body that you feel are more problematic than others. Do what works for you.

Nevertheless, a good starting point is 5 minutes cardio, be it on the treadmill, cycling, jumping rope – whatever you prefer. There’s tonnes of dynamic warm ups out there and by all means find those that work for you, but here’s some of my favourites:

 

Bodyweight squats – Stand up straight with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing slightly outward. Descend by pushing your ass out whilst trying to keep your torso as upright as possible. Ascend by driving through your heels and imaging you’re trying to spread the floor with your feet.

 

Leg Swings – Start by leaning against a stable object such a power rack or wall. Swing your leg (one at a time – don’t try anything crazy) out as far as you can in front of you, and then swing it back as far as you can. Don’t let the momentum twist your torso.

 

Jumping Jacks/Star Jumps – I don’t think these need much of a description as just about everybody did them in school. Just try to maintain a full range of motion by touching your hands at the top.

 

Push Ups – Everybody knows how to do a push up don’t they? Lie down on the ground face down. Place your hands a comfortable distance apart, and push your body up whilst keeping it straight. Try to tense your core.

 

Don’t go for a ridiculous amount of reps, the idea is to do just enough to get yourself warmed up enough to break a sweat without wearing yourself out.

I’ll be honest, I skipped warm ups for a long time, but I’ve started to pay for it with aches and niggles setting in. Look, I get that you might barely have time to train, let alone perform a 15 minute warm up, so you might have to get creative. Try starting at home, jogging to the gym or something similar. Find something that works for you and stick to it.

 

Too Strong logoAUTHOR BYLINE:

Written by Will Owen, founder of Too Strong

Too Strong is all about keeping fitness and nutrition simple. There will always be new routines, new products and new diets, but the reality is what works never changes.

http://www.toostrong.co.uk/

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