3 Reasons You Definitely Shouldn’t Skip Your Warmup

...and how to knock it out in just 5 minutes


Yes. You really, really do need to warm up before exercising! Whether you’re lifting weights, running, doing yoga, or rocking some bodyweight exercises at home, you’ve gotta warm up.


Here’s why:


  1. You’ll actually have a more productive workout if you warm up first because your muscles will be active when you start your first set (or movement). Without a proper warmup, your first set acts like your warmup set and therefore is slightly weaker. Level up your efficiency and productivity for serious results by warming up first.

  2. The risk of injuries is real! Many athletes and beginners alike tend to underestimate the risk of injury during a workout. It doesn’t matter if you’re young and fit, you can still injury yourself, especially during weightlifting or competitive sports play. In weightlifting, your muscles shorten and lengthen while bearing weight. If your muscles haven’t been sufficiently shortened and lengthened without weight prior to your workout, there can be a genuine risk of tearing or ripping of the muscle. In sports, one of the major risks is to your joints. This risk comes from not allowing your joints to achieve the full range of motion in a slow, controlled manner before you attempt to do so in a fast, load-bearing situation. This can cause injuries that are not only excruciatingly painful but expensive to repair and slow to heal.

  3. Warming up functions as mental preparation for the workout or game. A consistent warmup routine tells your brain and body that you’re about to put it to work! Feel-good chemicals start flowing, blood starts pumping to your muscles, and you’re ready to hit the ground running. So really, why wouldn’t you want to warm up?!


Alright, now that you’re sold on the idea of incorporating a warmup into your workout routine, here’s how you can knock it out in just 5 minutes:

  • 8 inward hip rotations, 8 outward hip rotations (each side)

  • 8 forward arm circles, 8 backward arm circles

  • 2 minutes jumping rope or a boxing “bounce”

  • 8 walk-outs

  • 12 deep reverse lunge to knee raise

  • 15 squats with a 10-rep pulse at the end

Here’s how to do each exercise:


Inward and outward hip rotation:

  • Stand with feet together and raise one knee to 90 degrees. Circle the hip out, making a big circle with your knee. Make the movement as wide as you can while staying stable.

  • Keep circling slowly for eight reps, then switch direction for another eight reps. Repeat on the other leg.

Forward and backward arm circles:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms by your side, then slowly swing your arms forward in a circular motion. You should feel your shoulders loosening up as you go.

  • Continue the circular motion for eight reps. Then, circle the arms in the opposite direction for eight reps.

Jumping rope or boxing bounce:

  • Grab your jump rope and jump for 2 minutes -OR-

  • Maintain a boxing bounce for two minutes.

Walkouts:

  • Start with your feet hip-width apart, arms at sides.

  • Bend the at hips to reach your hands to the floor; crawl out to a high plank position, and pause for a couple of seconds with your shoulders over your wrists, abs engaged.

  • Walk your hands back to your feet and stand up. That's one rep.

  • Do eight reps.

Deep reverse lunge to knee raise:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step back with your right foot. Bend both knees, lowering yourself until your right knee is about 6 inches off the floor.

  • Push off your right foot to stand up, and bring the knee out in front of you at a 90-degree angle.

  • Immediately step your right foot back into another reverse lunge.

  • Do 12 reps on one leg, then 12 reps on the other.

Squats with a 10-rep pulse at the end:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, hands at your chest.

  • Bend at your knees and hips to move into a squat, bringing your butt down to knee height. Keep your chest high.

  • Drive through your heels to return to standing. Do 15 reps.

What’s your favorite warmup exercise? Let us know in the comments section below!

See a Sports Chiropractor

Visiting a Sports Chiropractor instead of a traditional chiropractor is a great idea for athletes and beginners alike. Sports chiropractic is specifically aimed at the treatment and prevention of injuries in sports. If you’re just starting a workout plan after a long period of inactivity, schedule a consultation with Dr. Stark for an evaluation and guidance so you can workout with confidence and direction.

Dr. Stark is a Sports Chiropractor and a certified EMT in North Houston.

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