A pre workout routine is just as important as the main workout itself. A pre workout method of warming up delivers the “warming” necessary for the muscles to work better during the main course of your workout session. Essentially a warm up delivers better blood flow to the muscles thereby allowing them to be prepared for the next coming stress brought about by weight lifting during your workouts. There are several ways that you can do to keep you pumped up and prepared for the coming workout. Here is a great pre exercise routine.
The very first thing that you have to do when performing a pre workout routine is to perform a light cardio activity. Light cardio activities can run from 5 to 15 minutes. There are several exercises that you can do such as walking, running on the treadmill and jumping rope. Performing a light cardio during the early parts of your workout makes it easier for your body temperature and your body to adapt to the stress and load you are about to face. This warm up cardio routine also pumps up your heart rate allowing efficient blood flow to the muscles. In addition to that, it also helps you focus mentally.
After performing the said light cardio stated above, the next part of your pre exercise routine would be to stretch. Although stretching can also be done as a post workout part, it can also be beneficial part of your pre exercise regimen. Below are some of the stretching exercises you can perform.
1. The High Knee Lift
Extend up on your toes and lift each of thighs to a position parallel to the floor as you move forward. This exercise is typically performed to benefit the hip flexors and ankle strength.
2. The Middle Back stretch.
Start this stretch by standing with your hands on your hips. Gently twist your torso at your waist until the stretch is felt in your back. Hold the position for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat on the other side. This stretching exercise benefits the waist as well as the back which is important when performing back exercises such as pull ups, rows and dead lifts.
3. Quadriceps stretch.
Perform this exercise by standing near a wall and use your left hand for support and for balance. By standing straight, grasp the top of your left foot with your right hand and pull the heel towards the buttocks. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. This stretch as the name implies, stretches the quadriceps muscles which come into play when doing squats, overhead barbell presses and other leg exercises.
4. Hamstring and lower back stretch.
Start this stretch by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out to the sides. Bend your left leg towards your right knee and slowly bend forward from the hips towards your foot with the straightened leg until you finally feel the stretch. Remember not to dip your head as you move forward.
Hold this stretch for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side. You may use a wrapped towel under your legs if you are having a hard time doing this exercise. Make sure you keep your toes upright with your straight leg and your ankles relaxed throughout the move. This exercise stretches the hamstrings, the lower back, calves and the hips.
There are different benefits that make up your stretching exercises. One of the benefits includes the most famous of all, to increase flexibility. Stretching promotes full range of motion that comes in handy when playing sports such as baseball, basketball, wrestling and many others. It is also a great part of any weight lifting routine as you become more comfortable when you achieve a full range of motion when performing body weight and free weight exercises.
Another benefit that you can achieve when performing warm up exercises such as this stretching is to avoid injury. Stretching lubricates the joints and connective tissues. This ensures a more fluid movement and an injury prone workout.
Stretching before and after exercise also promotes lesser soreness after exercise. Stretching promotes blood flow to the muscles which makes it easier for your muscles to heal and recover after a heavy workout of squats, leg presses, lunges and front squats.
Another important aspect of your warm up routine is to perform the exercises that you target for the day. For example if you are about to train your chests for the day, start out by warming up on the bench press using light to moderate weights. You may perform this warm up lifting for two to three reps and slowly add weights as you progress through your sets. This ensures that your mind and body becomes focused for the next lifts to come. It also prepares the target muscles for the next sets of weight lifting exercises.
You can also start out by practicing the movement using light weights as mentioned above especially if you are a beginner and are new to the lift or exercise. This ensures that you are less prone to injury and that you perform the exercise with proper form.
When performing the warm up sessions, it is important to keep in mind that these are beneficial to keep you pumped up for the main aspect of your workout. The most common mistake that gym goers do today is that they jump right out into the weights and lift heavy, which entails injuries and improper lifting. This event typically leads to lesser development and growth. A great pre workout routine such as the one mentioned in this article is vital with every session. With this warm up exercise, you avoid injury, your muscles are pumped up to the fullest, and they become prepared with every rep and set to come. Just make sure that you get enough time to perform your warm up routine so that you don’t get pressured with time.