A warm-up is an essential part of any workout, preparing your body for exercise or activity and can make a huge difference in your body’s efficiency, performance and results. However, warming up should be more than a few stretches before you get stuck into the main action. A comprehensive pre-workout mobility exercise routine will help prepare your muscles for movement and improve your range of motion, meaning you can get more out of your exercise or activity. A warm up is also vital for injury prevention.
Why Do We Warm-up?
The clue is in the name. A warm-up will gently raise your body temperature so that your blood can flow more freely to your muscles. You can achieve this with some light cardiovascular activity in combination with some mobility exercises. These combined gentle forms of exercise will increase your body temperature just enough to get your heart pumping and loosen up your muscles and should not feel strenuous
After doing some mobility and light cardiovascular work to get warm, you may want to add some stretching. Stretching does not suit all people pre-exercise but if you do like to stretch pre-exercise focus more on dynamic movements and make sure you’re adequately warm as stretching a cold muscle can lead to damane. Static stretching is more advisable after you work out when your body temperature is already quite high, and you need to rest and cool down.
Dynamic Pre-Workout Mobility
A good warm-up should prepare you for the exercise you’re about to undertake. To do this you need to replicate many of the movements which form part of your main workout or activity to get your joints, muscles and nervous system ready. This helps to improve flexibility and reduces the risk of injury.
There are a wide range of warm up mobility exercises to choose from. Your chosen type of warm up will largely depend on the type of training or activity you are planning to do, and there is also a large element of personal preference. You will know what works best for your body and what helps you to feel fit and ready for exercise!
A common movement in most pre workout mobility sessions is rotations, particular of 3 key joints and body parts:
Let’s explore how to safely warm up and improve mobility in these areas.
1. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Begin to roll your shoulders in a backwards motion slowly.
3. Perform this movement about 5-10 times and then change direction to start rotating your shoulders forwards.
Before beginning arm rotations, make sure you have enough space around you! You will need enough room to hold your arms out straight and rotate them around your body.
1. Adopting the same position as the previous exercise, hold your arms out straight
2. Begin to move your arms backwards in a circular motion. Make sure you have enough space around you.
3. Repeat about 5-10 times before changing direction.
Increasing the mobility of your hip joints is key to improving your performance, especially if you are going to be running. Flexible hip joints can help with more efficient movement and prevent back pain.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lift your right leg, bending your knee as you do so.
- Slowly rotate your leg backwards with your hip joint.
- Repeat the movement with your left leg and alternate between the two for about 10 movements.
- As you become more used to each rotation exercise you can gradually increase the intensity, but not too much, as you don’t want to cause damage or fatigue before you’ve started your main workout.
For a thorough pre workout mobility session, spend about 3 to 5 minutes in total on rotations.
The next phase of your warm up should aim to increase your body temperature just enough to put you in prime condition to tackle your main activity.
One simple way to do this is to gently jog on the spot for about a minute or two. You can also do something more sport-specific for whatever your training session is going to be. This also helps to open your lungs, enhance your breathing, and send oxygen around your body to prepare for exercise. You can vary this movement in several ways:
- Lift your knees high as you jog.
- Extend your arms out in front of you with your palms facing down.
- Try to touch each palm with your knee as you raise it.
Alternatively, you can get your hands with your palms facing your buttocks and try to kick them with your heels as you lift your legs. Not only can these movements help to increase your blood flow and oxygen distribution, but they also help to loosen up your knee and hip joints.
Alongside effective mobility warm up exercises, you can also prepare for athletic activity by focusing on nutrition. Activity requires energy, and our range of energy products can help give you the fuel you need to be in the best condition before starting your workout. It is also important to start exercise well-hydrated, we also have a range of hydration-specific products.
From energy gels to high protein bars for the perfect post-workout snack, our range of endurance nutrition products has been expertly formulated to get you off on the right foot. SiS products will give you the carbs and protein to aid your body and ensure you maximise your potential throughout.
Combined with a balanced diet and effective warm up mobility exercises, our range of products can give you the energy you need to power through your workout, helping to prevent fatigue, supporting muscle recovery, and putting you on the path to peak performance.
Your pre workout mobility session should effectively be a low-intensity dry run for the activity itself. That’s why mobility is key to any warm-up as it gets your body ready for the demands of the main event itself.
Warming up also helps send the message to your brain to prepare yourself mentally for physical exertion. Afterall, being in the right headspace is a vital part of achieving your goals!