Have you ever made the mistake of jumping straight into your workout without dedicating some time to warm up your body? The weights feel heavier than the last time you picked them up! There are several factors that contribute to that, but, most likely, you’re feeling the result of not properly warming up your body.
Why is warming up before you exercise so important?
You will reap the rewards of a simple 5-minute dynamic warm up! Warming up your muscles will avoid many common injuries as well as allow you to best reach your long-term goals. The reason for this is:
- A dedicated warm up increases your body temperature. This, in turn, reduces the chance of injuries to your muscles and tendons.
- When your muscles are warmer, they lengthen allowing you perform at your optimal level.
- As you warm up, oxygen is moved to your muscle groups. Did you know your muscles need oxygen just like your heart and lungs do?
Do I have to cooldown and stretch after every workout?
Stretching is important even on the days you are not training. As you stretch, your muscles elongate which improves flexibility. Increased flexibility allows you to avoid potential injuries. You should stretch following any physical activity. Here’s why:
- Stretching increases your flexibility and helps increase blood flow which helps with optimal strength and power.
- Stretching helps increase your range of motion. The larger the range of motion is in your joints, the more likely you are to avoid injury.
- Stretching helps improve your posture. Good posture allows for your best form and technique. When your form is good, you achieve the greatest results!
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