4 Tips for an Effective Warm-Up

blog-stretchingWhether you’re planning to work out for an hour or have a game scheduled, one aspect determines how well you’ll perform: Your warm up.

Over the years, this concept has changed, from general stretching to dynamic movements and foam rolling. But, no matter how you do it, a warm-up assists your performance and safety. Starting cold, by contrast, limits your range of motion and can ultimately undermine how well you do.

Think about these points:

A Dynamic Workout

Dynamic workouts focus on getting the muscles you plan to use in your workout or game moving and operating beforehand. Stretches, as a result, vary with whatever you plan to do, although most emphasize joint mobility for the thoracic spine, shoulders, ankles, and hips.

Many do a combination of:

  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Hand walks
  • Arm circles
  • Touching your toes and then reaching for the sky.
  • Forward kicks.

2. Foam Rolling

A newer development, foam rolling goes hand in hand with dynamic movement but serves as a myofascial release strategy, which increases blood flow and decreases tissue density.

In doing this exercise, you get your joints moving one at a time and progressively loosen your muscles from your back to your legs, hips, and glutes.

3. Exercises to Get the Heart Rate Up

This isn’t to say that tried-and-true approaches are off the table. Many “classic” warm-ups prove beneficial, as they increase the heart rate and body temperature:

  • Jumping rope
  • Jumping in place for a few minutes
  • Jumping jacks
  • Jogging in place
  • Slow rows
  • Riding a stationary bike on low resistance

4. Warm Up the Muscles You Plan to Use

Another approach, consider the muscles you plan to use during your workout.

Some say balance exercises, such as single-leg deadlifts or bent-over rows, offer the best route. Another option, complete a few short intervals of the activity you’re about to do at a lower intensity.

When you’re planning to do a full workout or engage in court sports, North Haven Health & Racquet has the equipment for improving your strength and endurance and warming up ahead of time. Stop by our location to check out our facility today.