Notably one of the most neglected and highly important aspect of any training or workout, is the warm up routine. Generally there are two varying forms of the traditional warm up exercises used in pre lifting known as the General Pre-Workout Warm Up and the Specific Pre-Exercise Warmup.
How to do the General Pre-Workout Warm Up and Specific Pre-Exercise Warm Up
The General Pre-Workout Warm Up refers to the traditional warm up performed before beginning the training and often includes
- cardiovascular activity,
- foam rolling and
- dynamic stretching.
The Specific Pre-Exercise Warm Up are the warm up sets performed before weight training or strength training and are performed by lifting lighter weights and slowly increasing up to the required weight for the training exercise.
Importance of the Warm Up
The aim of warming up prior to an exercise routine is to prepare the training individual both physically and mentally for the associated rigors of the workout. An effective pre-lifting muscle warmup routine for the training individual has been known to increase the blood flow to the muscle tissues within the body, creating an increase in the current temperature within those muscle tissues and the range of the joint and tendons for flexibility. It also provides a faster rate of the eccentric and concentric contractions of the muscle repair times as well as the core temperature of the individual.
How the Pro's Warm Up
Professional weightlifters have found that when performing a pre lifting warm up routine such as that of a Specific Pre-Exercise Warm Up before a weight lifting event, it allows them to benefit from an number of improvements including increased muscle strength and performance, improvements in their reactive times, and even enhanced metabolic reactions.
Static Stretching is generally the traditional stretching observed by the individual before, after and occasionally during the training workout by holding a particular stretch position for a required duration of time such as the hang-down hamstring stretch. Occasionally individuals will conduct this stretch based on the traditional routines taught during their Physical Education classes or in recognition of the movements observed by other training individuals as they prepare themselves for their training.
Currently there in no conclusive evidence to support the fact that post, pre or static stretching workout training has the potential to prevent the individual from subject to injury or relieve muscle soreness. It has however been proven to increase the performance of an athlete in sports requiring muscle flexibility, and an increase motion range including ballet, sit and reach flexibility tests and gymnastics.
It has also been shown that static stretching is not as effective during a warm up and is instead better suited for the cool down as it can lower the performance speed, endurance, strength, productive force, power, reaction and movement time of the individual. As a result it has been suggested that any pre lifting warmup includes what is known as ballistic, dynamic stretching or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching.
Dynamic and Ballistic Stretching
Dynamic or ballistic stretching are types of warm up activity which incorporates specific sports replicated movements to effectively prepare the individual's body for the exercise workout. An example would be hanging knee raises or leg swings. Another way to start static stretching is by simulating traditional movements of the sports activity the individual is going to perform before beginning the workout. By performing the dynamic stretch routine the training individual benefits from the training ability with an improved dynamic flexibility, increase in muscle temperature by replicating the movements and required patters of the range of motion for the sports activity.
Many professional fitness enthusiasts have found that by planning their training workout in addition to an active pre lift warm up routine, they have been able to achieve the most out of their training session.