One of the most costly mistakes that I see in the gym week in and week out is that the majority of lifters fail to recognize the importance of a proper warmup. Some lifters perform a wimpy, worthless warmup that consists of 1 set of 20 reps using the weight of the bar, and others neglect the warmup process altogether. There are two main reasons why a proper warmup will serve you well both in the short and long term:
1) A proper warmup will increase your performance and the amount of reps throughout your actual workout.
2) A proper warmup will greatly decrease your chances of injury.
The first component of a proper warmup consists of 5 minutes of light cardiovascular activity. You can choose any basic piece of cardio equipment to perform this such as a recumbent bike, rowing machine or treadmill. This basic cardio warmup will increase your body’s core temperature, stimulate your heart and lungs and will also lubricate your joints by increasing the secretion of synovial fluid. As you perform this 5 minute cardio warmup, envision the workout that you will soon be performing. Focus on mentally preparing yourself for the battle that lies ahead and accept that you will soon be putting forth a maximal effort. It’s crucial that you prepare both your mind and body for your workouts, since your mental attitude plays such a vital role in your success.
Once your 5 minutes is up, you can move into the next and final component of the warmup process. In this section you will be performing dynamic stretching using the 7 basic movements of the body.
Remember, this is merely a warmup that is designed to increase blood flow to the muscles and surrounding connective tissue.
Once you’ve completed your warmups, you can move right into your actual workout.
Do not underestimate the importance of this warmup process! It will go a long way in keeping you injury free and in preparing your body for those grueling workouts. It only takes about 5-10 minutes to perform and the benefits will far outweigh the costs.