All About Warming Up

Posted: August 23, 2012 in Articles, Thought of the Day, Video

Hey guys,

Just did a presentation for the Highlands School weight lifting class on warming up.  Many of you will already know this information, but I thought I’d share my notes.


Overall Purpose of Warm up

-Prepare the Body For Activity

Why Do We Need To Prepare Our Body For Activity?-Reasons Why….

Injury Prevention-you are much more likely to be injured during an event or a workout

Improved Performance-your body is not ready to perform at it’s best at rest

Promotes Flexibility-Skipping your warm up can cause you to be tight during or after a workout

Mental Preparation-Gives you time to mentally prepare for your workout or athletic event.

What Happens During Warm Up

Neurologically Wakes You Up– Intense activity and coordinated movements demand a great deal from

the brain, spine and nerves that innervate (pass through and control) muscles and tendons.

Increase Core Temperature of Muscle– Muscles perform better at a higher temperature.

Increases Oxygen Consumption-In order to do more work you must have more oxygen.  Therefore the

breathing rate must increase and the lungs must take in more oxygen.

Delivery of Nutrients and Hormones-Your body during exercise requires very different nutrients and

hormones during exercise compared to at rest.  Warming up helps to increase these so that you do not fatigue too early and your performance is optimal.

Increases Blood Pressure- Increased blood pressure means more blood will get to your muscle tissue at

a faster rate.  The faster this occurs the more oxygen (and other nutrients) can get to your muscle and the faster you can remove CO2.

Shifts Blood Flow– At rest blood is concentrated in your organs (liver, stomach, brain, kidneys etc.).  In

order to exercise you need much more blood in your muscle tissue.  This change takes a few minutes.  So, warming up helps.

Promotes Synovial Fluid Release-  Synovial Fluid helps to lubricate the joint surfaces made of cartilage.

If Synovial Fluid does not reach the cartilage, then it will wear and break down over time.

What Your Warm Up Should Include

Movement in 3 Planes of Motion-Front to back, side to side, rotational.

Sweat-If you are not sweating, your muscles are not warm.

Stretching-         Static Vs. Dynamic-

Static stretching– is when you hold a stretch for a long period of time (10 seconds or more).  It is beneficial for improving long term flexibility but can slightly hinder performance because it does not prepare you for dynamic activities.

Dynamic Stretching– is stretching that involves movement while increasing range of motion.  Such as arm swinging, rotating, twisting, jumping etc. where you hold stretches for no more than 2-3 seconds.

Specific To the Physical Activity You are About To Do-Your warm up should be full body but should focus more on the muscle groups you are about to use.

Special Concerns– Any previously injured area should get some extra attention during the warm up too!

  1. Doc says:

    Exceptional post! Here is a link to pages of resources ( including samples and videos) on warm – up. Enjoy

  2. Thanks for the info! Check it out everyone.

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