Warming up is often an overlooked component of training. Especially for young athletes, it is easy to jump into a weightlifting session or agility program before the body is ready. However, from athlete to general training enthusiast, the warm up is an essential part in preparation for the demands of an exercise session.
Each client has a different starting point with exercise. Due to past experiences, injuries, surgeries, and other factors, every individual may need customized warm up protocols to not only improve the training session but prevent future injury. This may include evaluating the muscular systems contractile capabilities via Muscle Activation Techniques or utilizing specific exercises. A proper warm up is a time to determine how an athlete or individual is feeling: to assess their preparedness. If an individual is not feeling 100%, due to poor sleep, stress, or inflammation, the routine may need to be adjusted so they still gain the benefits of training without the implications of stressing the body when not prepared.
A warm up also increases core temperature and coordination for the session. Improving core temperature will aid in muscle elasticity, preventing the potential for injury and improving muscle function. Additionally, for an athlete, if the scheduled routine is more dynamic and lateral in emphasis, a proper warm up will mimic similar dynamic movements scheduled for the training session but in a controlled fashion. This allows the individual to learn how to do dynamic or speed movements under control while at the same time teaching them how to fire specific muscles. A proper warm up is not only about getting muscles warm but includes education and assessment. Doing this type of warm up on a continual basis is another way to micro progress individuals and athletes for long term success and injury prevention.
The Importance of a Warm Up