Do different training methods need different types of warm ups?

Do different training methods need different types of warm ups?

Years of Research shows that warming up properly before exercise is essential to get maximum benefits and to minimise injuries from each training session. However, there are  many different ways to prepare oneself for different modes of training methods.
During my 18 years of experience in fitness I have seen many fitness trainers adopting different methods of warm up. Some just make clients to do 10 mins cardio on a treadmill or cycle, while some make them do squats and pushups, Some just do dynamic or static stretches.  One of my colleague use to give only suryanamaskar before heading for the heavy weight training session.

What is warmup?

The basic definition of warm up is: “A period of time at the beginning of an exercise session when you perform a lower intensity version of the same or similar exercise you plan to do during your workout. … The purpose of a warm-up is to gradually increase your heart rate, breathing, and body temperature to prepare your body for more intense exercise.”

Thus your warmup should 

  1. Gradually increase your heart rate
  2. Raise your body temperature
  3. Increase the blood flow to the muscles
  4. Prepare the muscles for the upcoming vigorous activity by doing the same movements which will be performed during the routine


So the best warm up session will consist of

  • Range of motion movements of all the joints:Starting your exercise session with some basic range of motion movements like lateral, forward / backward and circular movements of joints helps to decrease risk of injury and increases blood flow to the joints. It will also make joints flexible if they have become stiff due to inactivity.
  • 7 to 10 mins of cardio:A nice cardio session of 10 minutes will increase your heart rate, breathing and your body temperature. Starting slowly, increase the intensity gradually. Do not stretch the session too long to get tired.
  • Performing 1 set with lower intensity  before each exercise for a weight training session:It will prepare your muscles to lift heavy weights and avoid injury. It will also increase the blood flow to that particular group of muscles
  • Gradually increasing the intensity of exercise or activity you are planning to do for interval training or a cardio session: It will increase your heart rate, breathing and blood flow very slowly.


Avoid skipping a warm up session.

I have seen many people coming late for the group exercise session and directly starting without performing any warm up exercise. I have also seen many young people going straight to the treadmill and start running. Start with low speed where you can walk comfortably and increase the speed gradually after 1 minute of walk. There occur many incidences in the gym where people have fallen from treadmills or suffered a heart attack.
Thus a good warm up session can be 12 to 20 mins of duration. It will help to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the upcoming vigorous activity, reduce the risk of injury and prevent any untoward incidences that may cause due to sudden rise in heart rate and blood pressure.


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