We all know the importance of balancing weight bearing exercises with cardiovascular training. During this training time before Murph, I’m reminded of the importance of an often overlooked, third element of our workouts: the warm up.
Wait! Come back!
Look, I know it’s a pain in the a**. It adds time to an already too-busy schedule. We all just want to get to the good part. We want to load up that barbell or turn on our speed playlist and start running or cycling or start knocking out those burpees.
(scratch that… no one rushes into burpees. I’ll warm up all day if I can avoid burpees.)
Here are three good reasons to focus on a solid warm up:
- Spending time warming up large muscle groups can reduce your risk of injury.
Do something that works your large muscle groups for a few minutes before beginning your workout. If there’s rowing in the workout, row for a couple of minutes at an easy pace. If there’s running, run a short distance. Then warm up specific muscle groups from there.
2. Warming up can improve your athletic performance.
I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more my body snaps, crackles, and pops when I get out of bed in the morning. I need to move slow before I can move fast. It’s the same with your workout. Starting a workout ‘cold’ is going to make you feel (and perform) like hot garbage, and no one wants to feel that way.
3. A good warm up can ease you into a tough workout.
Have you ever noticed how the warm up always gives you an idea of how the WOD is going to go? That’s not a coincidence. A good warm up is designed to ease you into finishing a tough workout. And, let’s be honest, unless the word “flush” appears in the SugarWOD description, they’re all going to be tough workouts. Give yourself a chance to try things the easy way before you go all out.
I know it’s hard to carve out time every day for physical activity, but we do it to live better lives. A quality warm up is you being kind to your body. You work so hard all the other time you’re in the gym. Give yourself permission to enjoy your warm up.