Pre-Workout Warm Ups and Stretches

Annie Farrell, Staff Writer

Warming up and stretching may not be everyone’s favorite thing to do before a workout, but why prolong your already dreadful exercise session? It may not be fun, but it is very important to warm up and stretch before performing any physically strenuous activity.

Though both warming up and stretching are essential prior to a workout, it is advised that people warm up before performing any stretches. Warming up is used to gradually increase your core body temperature and assist your circulatory system in pumping oxygen-rich blood to the muscles that are to be used during your workout. In addition, it helps prevent pulling or injuries.

“Warming up in general is important. It gets your muscles moving, or else you have stiff muscles when you start working out,” freshman Holden Payne said.

After you have sufficiently warmed up, scientists suggest executing a combination of both static and dynamic stretches. Static stretching are stretches that are to be completed with no movement, such as bending down and touching your toes. On the other hand, low-intensity movements resembling the workout activity you will be performing soon are identified as dynamic stretching. A balance of both of these stretches will be sure to ensure that your muscles are sufficiently “stretchy” for your workout soon to come.

Keeping this in mind, scientists have compiled four key components that everyone should be sure to include in their in their warm up and stretching routine. The elements in this routine advance from lower to higher-intensity.

1. Standard Warm Up: This part of the warm up should take about five to ten minutes. It will help in slowly raising a person’s heart and respiratory rate. General warm ups can include a light jog, high knees, butt kicks and backpedaling.

2. Gentle Static Stretching: Beginning your stretches with static stretching improves your chances of fending off a tendon or muscle injury. Both parts are elongated during static stretching, and when it comes to your final workout, it enables your limbs with an extraordinary range of motion. This portion as well should only last approximately five to ten minutes. Quadriceps stretches (“flamingos”), posterior capsule stretches (right and left arms stretched across the body) and standing toe touches are some examples of effective static stretches.

“I have gotten a lot of injuries, like I have twisted my ankles four times, and it is all because I don’t warm up,” freshman Sofia Quevedo said.

3. Specific Warm Up: In this section of the routine the person exercising should frame their warm up around the particular workout they plan to practice. Higher-intensity warm ups should be utilized and should mimic their workout that lies ahead. For example, if one were to be running a 5k, walking or jogging for fifteen to thirty minutes and practicing striding should suffice.

“I usually hit balls and putt when I am warming up for golf,” sophomore Tomas Nieves said.

4. Careful Dynamic Stretching: If not done correctly, dynamic stretching can lead to severe injury so it is important to be very cautious during this portion. It is incorporated at the end of the routine in order to make certain that flexibility is established. Lunges, arm swings, leg swings and squats can be conducted to push body parts into a greater range of motion than they are accustomed to.

Warming up and stretching are usually underestimated by the public, but as you can see are critical to guarantee that your workout proceeds smoothly. The components above should be conformed properly to the ideal needs of the person exercising. If done correctly, they are sure to be prepared mentally and physically for their workout as well be able to rid of that seemingly inevitable next day soreness.