The short answer if you can’t be bothered to read is “YES.”
For the rest of you here’s the deal.
Think of your muscles as a rubber band. If that rubber band is cold and you try to stretch it, it’ll snap quicker than it would when it’s a little warmed up. This is where you get muscle sores even during a short burst of activity.
Now, not everyone has this problem, trained athletes or those who exercise often suffer fewer muscle sores during regular exercise because their muscles have already been condition. But that doesn’t mean they don’t also do warm-up exercises. Warm-ups are crucial because they get your muscles activated If you do not warm up, you not only risk injury but you also get less from your workout.
You need to get the blood flow pumping to warm up the body. An adequate warm-up gets your muscles to ‘turn-on’ via the stretch reflex.
Here’s the thing most people get wrong. Static stretching like the ones they told you to do in school during PE is wrong. You are effectively stretching cold muscles. Studies have shown that static stretching can decrease your performance. Stretching should be performed as part of your cool down.
So what’s an effective warm-up?
There are many effective ways to warm-up but here’s our take on it.
- Start by walking for about 5 minutes
- Then jog (not run) for another 3 minutes
You’ll want to get that oxygen in your blood moving. Now you are ready for a bit more.
- Do a 3-minute jump romp
- Then about 25 jumping jacks
- Now move on to Squats, do about 20.
Right about now you’ll notice which part of your body is a little tight. Is it your upper or lower body?
If it’s your lower body try doing these.
- Five lunges
- Ten hip extensions
- Five hip rotations
- Ten forward leg swings
- Ten side leg swings
If it’s your upper body try these.
- Ten arm swings (each arm)
- Ten shoulder rotations (each arm) – Note: you’re not a helicopter, and no matter how fast you go, you’re not taking off. Do this is slow, with your arms out by your side making small circular rotations, with the circle getting bigger with each swing.
Now you should be ready to take on your exercise proper if not repeat till you feel loose. Yes, an effective warm-up takes time. But it beats spending the next few days walking around like your joints have been welded together.