What is important when you warm up? Targeting specific muscle groups? Getting your heart rate up? Stretching?
YES! A great warm up should get you ready for the work you are about to do without over taxing your body. Getting your heart rate up should feel like a little bit of work, without leaving you gasping for air. As we get older, getting the body moving and warmed up is even more important.
I like to follow this plan with some additional warm up movement and some targeted mobility work. During the warm up we want to begin by moving as many joints as possible. If you are tight in a certain area we can work through some of this tightness with targeted mobility. If you have tight hips, for example, you want to get them as open as possible so you can squat with ease and good form. Adding mobility into your warm up is a key factor to make this happen.
The final component in the warm up is the review or practice for what you will be doing in your workout. None of us are in such an advanced state that we need to forgo this step. We may need a little less practice over time, however, we should never skip this step. Regardless of what you are doing, a push up or a deadlift, there is a correct way to execute it. Practicing these movements well is great for muscle memory. Take the time to do the reps well, even in warm ups and your workouts will continue to improve.
If you are someone who works out on their own, don’t skip a good warm up. It is easy to not take the time to get warmed up, but over time it is a recipe for disaster. Take the extra ten minutes, and you will see your workouts improve as well!