Why (and How) do we warm up before exercise?


There are about 100 things that we can discuss about the benefits of warming up.  Priming the heart for exercise, opening up capillaries for increased oxygen flow to muscles, increasing the temperature of the muscles so they can contract and relax faster, increased nerve transmission, increased muscle metabolism for more efficient muscle activation, increasing the force and stretch that can be subjected on a muscle before it will strain, etc. The biggest reason that we have a mandatory warm-up at our facility is to prime the body for movement.  We live pretty sedentary lives and spend most of our day in one position.  When we prepare to move our bodies in multiple planes and directions, especially outside of the position we have been sitting in all day, a proper warm-up will make it much easier to achieve those positions. I'm not talking about a calf stretch while we wait for our buddies to show up, I'm talking about a full sequential series of movements that address almost every possible direction one could move their body in preparation for a training session.  At KORE, we do a series of 8 movements and most of these movements have multiple components to them.  When done properly, these 8 movements have prepared me for anything from the most grueling trail runs to soccer games, to kettlebell training sessions and beyond.  The key word here is done PROPERLY.  We can sandbag a warm-up as easily as we can sandbag everything else which is why we've provided a video of our warm up and the key points of each exercise.  Pay attention to your body as you go through your warm up, here is a checklist to take note of as you through this warm up: Is there an exercise you cannot do? Do you struggle with some due to tightness? Does your immobility limit your ability to do the warm up exercise or cause you to cheat? Do you feel what muscles are intended to be stretched? Is there a pinching sensation on the opposite side of the stretch? Take note of the tight muscles -  are they symmetrical or is the right side tighter than the left? If this the case: is it for all of the exercises or just one? Do you have worse balance on one side versus the other? Any answers of yes to these questions merits some time spent on that specific area before you start your training program for the day.  Sometimes its a matter of some myofascial work and a restretch, sometimes it takes some additional mobility work or a focused mobility program.  If you notice any of these things as you are warming up for a session at KORE, it is your responsibility to make sure that you alert a trainer so he or she can help you with the issue. Check out our Dynamic Warm-up Video Here: https://youtu.be/m4PYkt5tokE Elise Matthews  

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