Everyone knows that exercise is important. Staying fit is the basis of good long-term health. Exercise helps you to maintain your healthy body weight and even boosts your mental well-being. It’s no wonder that more of us are making time to go to the gym. However, if you’re regularly working out but aren’t seeing the results you hoped for, it can be disappointing. Getting results in the gym isn’t always as easy as it seems.
Everyone has his or her own idea about how to maximize his or her gym time. Yet, some of those ideas are incorrect. Some come from information that is now outdated. Other people have ingrained ideas in their minds. And, despite them being ineffective, they have become habits. Making these mistakes may not just affect your workout’s success but even cause an injury.
Luckily, there’s one habit you can change that will give your results the boost you need. It involves your warm-up.
Never Skip the Warm-Up
We all have busy lives. It can be hard to fit in enough time to go to the gym. When you get there, you may feel rushed to fit the entire workout into your available time. However, skipping your warm-up to complete your full routine is a bad idea.
As many as 9 out of every 10 gym-goers never warm up. Even those who do all too often use random moves rather than taking a coordinated approach to warming the muscles.
It’s important to always warm up the muscles you’re planning to work on during that exercise session. You should go through the full range of motion you’ll be using when you work out. You should also plan to spend around 10 minutes on your pre-workout warm-up. If you don’t take the time to do this, you’re risking injuries.
Warm-Up the Right Way
Now we’ve established that you need to warm up before working out. The next step is knowing what a good warm-up looks like. For example, static stretches aren’t an effective warm-up. In fact, static stretching before you work out can impede your performance. It also won’t reduce your chances of being injured. On the other hand, dynamic stretching is very effective.
What’s the difference between dynamic stretching and static stretching?
When you use static stretching, you are holding the position of the stretch for up to 60 seconds. So, for example, you may be stretching down to touch your toes and holding it for a minute. This type of stretching is pointless before your workout. It could also cause you problems. You should, therefore, save static stretches for your post-workout cooldown.
Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, involves repeating a stretching movement up to 15 times in your warm-up routine. Motion stretches, such as leg lifts, lifting your knees to your chest, and arm circles, are all good choices. You should, however, avoid any moves that involve excessive jumping. We highly recommend walkouts. These involve going from a standing position to a plank position by walking out your body with your hands. This gets your entire body warmed up and ready for exercise.
Warming up in the right way is the key to getting results in the gym. It will also help to protect you from painful injuries that could affect your performance in the long term.