There are a bunch of mistakes we should avoid when warming up. In this article we’ll cover three very common ones that we’ll want to avoid to make sure we’re maximizing our gains and avoiding any unnecessary risks of injury.
1. Not Warming Up the Muscles about to be trained
Many of us think that the best way to warm up is to get your heart rate up by walking or jogging on the treadmill before getting into your core workout. We definitely disagree with this as the best way to get your muscles prepped for a certain exercise is to actually do the exercise itself!
2. Doing too much warm-up
Many of us have heard that working up a sweat is key to any warm-up. We see this time and time again in the gym with people doing a 20 minute light jog on the treadmill.
Although working up a sweat can be beneficial, this can be a waste of time and energy as you need to make sure you have energy left for the major portion of your workouts. You don’t want to sap your energy before getting into the main part of your workout, otherwise your trainer won’t be able to push you as hard as they otherwise would!
Some will also do way too many warm up sets to the point where it not only wastes plenty of energy but also eats into a lot of training time as well. We’ve seen people in the gym do 7 or 8 warm-up sets on a deadlift by increasing the load in 10-20 pound increments before working their way up to their working weight. This can be very draining to the body and take away from your key lifts. It shouldn’t take that many sets to work your way up to your working weight!
In addition, the majority of us don’t have an extra 10 minutes to kill during your workouts, so being more efficient with your warm up sets will leave you with more time and energy to get down to business. It’s important that your warm-ups are created efficiently and effectively, which is why a personal trainer will take out the guess work for you in terms of structuring your workout program accordingly.
3. Doing too much stretching
Many of us have grown up hearing that we should stretch before doing any type of movement or exercise. In reality, excessive stretching won’t necessarily improve your performance and won’t necessarily reduce your risk of injury. Some studies have also shown that holding stretches for longer than one minute before doing an exercise can hinder your performance. We recommend incorporating light stretching in your warm-up if it helps you improve your technique for the exercise that you’re about to complete. For example, if stretching out your hamstrings helps you achieve the depth necessary for your squat, then this logic definitely makes sense!
Overall, the focus of any warm-up should be to improve your technique and performance, while reducing the risk of injury. This is why working with a personal trainer can help in this regard to eliminate any of the guess work that comes with designing your training program. On your off-days you can also copy some of the training program so that you can replicate some of your workouts. Of course, I’d recommend discussing this with your trainer first to make sure that they’re comfortable with you doing these specific exercises independently.
As always, if you have any questions or if you’d like to book a personal training session, you can email us at [email protected] or call us at 1-888-682-0724. We hope this post was useful. Stay tuned for more!