Regardless of the level of fitness, warm-up is an integral part of any workout. It is necessary for all types of exercise: whether it’s aerobic exercise, weight training or stretching. Often the warm-up falls out of sight. But its necessity is absolutely proven. During the warm-up, physiological changes occur that prepare the body for more serious stresses.
- Warm up prepares the cardiovascular system. Hemoglobin delivers oxygen to muscles faster, they work more efficiently and more efficiently.
- Warm up protects against premature production of lactic acid. The accumulation of lactic acid is one of the causes of muscle fatigue. Improved blood circulation during warm-up allows better elimination of metabolic by-products, including lactic acid, carbon dioxide and water.
- Gradually increasing muscle temperature. Proper warm-up reduces the likelihood of muscle injury and increases the effectiveness of stretching. Muscle tissue becomes more elastic, the risk of rupture and excessive stretching of muscles, tendons and connective tissues is reduced.
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- During the warm-up, the transmission of nerve impulses is accelerated, which improves coordination of movements. Elevated body temperature increases muscle contractions and strength.
- During the warm-up, you can catch the first signs of trouble in case of problems with the musculoskeletal or cardiovascular systems. It is better to feel the first signs of problems at an early stage of training than during a heavy exercise.
In addition to physiological, warm-up also has psychological significance. It helps to tune in to training, to direct thoughts in the right direction.
Kinds of workout
The warm-up is conditionally divided into 2 parts: general and special. The general can be the same in all sports – it represents the rhythmic repetitive movements of large muscle groups – running, brisk walking, working out on an exercise bike or ellipse. During the special part of the warm-up, movements corresponding to the training goal are performed: squats with light weight before performing a full-fledged approach in this exercise or practicing racket kicks when playing tennis.
Muscle stretching exercises alone cannot be a warm-up. In any case, stretching should be preceded by a light general warm-up.
During the warm-up, the heart rate rises to 90-120 beats per minute. Feels like the load can be described as moderate.
The temperature of the muscles during the warm-up rises by several degrees, the result of this is increased sweating. But it’s impossible to navigate only this indicator and stop the warm-up as soon as sweating begins. The intensity of perspiration is influenced by individual characteristics, humidity, room temperature.
The minimum duration is 3-5 minutes. Older people, beginner athletes, overweight people and diseases of the cardiovascular system, pregnant women can recommend a longer warm-up – 10-15 minutes. It is advisable to start the training immediately after the workout, until the muscles have cooled down and the pulse has dropped.
Maria Larina, ISSA fitness trainer