Warming up is often considered a boring and unnecessary step before a strength training session. However, it is an essential step that allows you to prepare your body for exercise, avoid injuries and improve your performance. Therefore, in this article we will explain why and how to warm up properly during a bodybuilding session.
What is the importance of warming up before sports training?
The warm-up has several basic functions:
- Increased body temperature Warm-up, as the name suggests, increases body temperature, which promotes dilation of blood vessels and supply of oxygen to muscles. This helps wake up the muscles and prevent muscle and joint injuries.
- Preparing muscles and joints for exercise : The warm-up prepares the muscles and joints for exercise by increasing their flexibility and ability to move. This helps prevent cramps, strains and muscle tears.
- Stimulate the cardiorespiratory system : Physical preparation also helps stimulate the cardiorespiratory system by increasing the heart rate and breathing. This especially helps improve endurance and the ability to deliver prolonged effort.
- Mental preparedness Warming up is a great way to mentally prepare for exercise. It's easy for your mind to be elsewhere, to think about everything you have to do, or what you want to do, or to let fatigue get the better of you. Warming up is a great way to prepare, focus, and get your mind in tune with your body during the session.
How to properly warm up before a weight training session?
Here are some tips to get in good workout shape before a weight training session:
Start with 5 to 10 minutes of cardio
Cardio is an important warm-up step in a strength training session. It increases body temperature and stimulates the cardiorespiratory system, promoting vascular dilation and muscle oxygenation.
It is recommended to start with light cardiovascular activity, for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your abilities and goals. For example, you can bike, row, jump rope, or any other cardiovascular activity that suits your preferences.
It is important to choose an activity that uses the same muscle groups as those that will be worked during a weight training session. For example, if you plan to do squats, it is recommended to ride a bike or row to work your leg muscles.
Likewise, if you plan to work your upper body muscles, you can do jump rope to work your arm and shoulder muscles.
It is important to start with a low intensity and gradually increase the intensity according to the individual's abilities and goals.
Do not neglect to warm up the joints
To prepare the muscles and joints for exercise, it is recommended to perform movement exercises, such as shoulder rotation, leg flexion and extension, hip rotation, etc.
Joint flexibility improves mobility, posture and coordination, allowing you to improve mobility during exercise.
Above all, this move helps improve flexibility and mobility in the long term, which can be beneficial for overall health. Therefore, it is recommended to include it in any bodybuilding session.
The difference between joint flexibility and muscle stretching
It is important to know the difference between joint flexibility and muscle stretching when practicing physical activity. Although the two are often confused, they have different effects on the body and can be used at different times during training.
Joint flexibility aims to improve joint mobility and flexibility. These are movements that are performed gently and in a controlled manner, and are intended to stimulate blood circulation around the joint. These movements can help reduce joint stiffness, improve coordination, and prepare the body for physical exercise. They are often used at the beginning of training or as a warm-up before more intense physical activity.
Muscle stretching, on the other hand, aims to lengthen muscle fibers to increase flexibility and reduce muscle tension. Stretching exercises are often performed for a long period of time, allowing the muscles to stretch and relax.
Stretching can be static (staying in a stretched position for a specific period of time) or dynamic (repeating the stretching movement several times). Stretching exercises are often used after exercise or during recovery periods to help reduce muscle pain and stiffness.
Do specific exercises
It is important to choose specific exercises that use the same muscle groups as those that will be trained during a weight training session. For example, if you plan to do squats, it is recommended to do light squats using an empty bar during your warm-up. Likewise, if you plan to do a chest workout, you can do light push-ups to prepare your upper body muscles.
The goal of these specific muscle activations is to prepare the muscles for exercise by gradually increasing intensity and load. Working with light loads also allows you to work with proper movement technique and register motor pattern.
Motor style in bodybuilding refers to the way a movement is executed by muscles. It involves coordination between the different parts of the body involved in performing the exercise, as well as the sequence and synchronization of muscle contractions needed to accomplish the movement. Therefore, it is important for bodybuilders to focus on learning good technique for each exercise in order to improve their movement pattern.
Gradually increase the intensity
To avoid injury, it is important to gradually increase the intensity of your warm-up. For example, you can start with light exercises and then gradually increase the load or intensity.
Adapt the warm-up to your needs
It is important to adapt the warm-up to your needs based on your goals, abilities and physical limitations.
It is recommended to choose warm-up exercises that work the same muscle groups as those that will be trained during a weight training session. If you have physical limitations or health conditions, it is important to adapt your warm-up accordingly to avoid injury.
For example, if you have back problems, it is recommended to do flexibility exercises specific to this area. If you have strength or muscle gain goals, you can adapt your warm-up by gradually increasing the load of certain exercises. If you are a beginner, it is recommended to start with simple and light exercises to avoid injuries.
It is also important to follow proper movement technique to avoid injury and increase the effectiveness of the exercises.
Avoid static stretching
Static stretching, i.e. stretching for several seconds, should be avoided during the warm-up. It can actually reduce muscle strength and increase the risk of injury. It is better to do dynamic stretching instead.
Static stretching should not be avoided; It is a great way to improve flexibility and range of motion. They are simply more effective after exercise, as recovery.
Mistakes to avoid
When warming up, some mistakes can be made. It is important to avoid them to improve results and reduce the risk of infection:
- Not warming up enough;
- Perform static stretching exercises;
- Performing non-specific movements;
- Not respecting the order of the steps: It is important to respect the order of the warm-up steps. A cardiovascular warm-up should be done first, followed by dynamic stretching and flexibility, and then movements for the next session.
Your frequently asked questions
How long should a warm-up last before a weight training session?
The warm-up usually lasts between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on the intensity of the strength training session. If your session works all muscles (full body) it will be longer than a session for biceps or shoulders, for example.
Is warming up important even if I don't feel pain or muscle tension?
Yes, warming up is important even if you do not feel pain or muscle tension. Injuries can happen without warning, and warming up helps prevent them.
Does the warm-up differ depending on the strength exercises?
Yes, the warm-up process can be modified according to strength exercises. For example, if you are doing squats, it is recommended to do specific leg exercises.
Can we warm up the muscles with massage?
Massage can be helpful for muscle recovery after exercise, but it does not replace a warm-up. It is important to perform specific movements for each muscle group you wish to use during a weight training session.
Can you warm up your muscles with isometric stretching exercises?
Isometric stretching, i.e. stretching done by contracting the targeted muscle, can be beneficial for improving muscle strength and flexibility. However, it does not replace dynamic stretching during a warm-up.
What to remember
Warming up is an essential step in any strength training session. It helps prepare your body for exercise, avoid injuries and improve your performance. By following the tips we have provided in this article, you will be able to have an effective warm-up tailored to your needs. Remember, a warm-up is a long-term investment that will help you improve your health and performance. So feel free to give it all the importance it deserves!
Why is warming up necessary?