Hello everyone. Today I wanted to help you investigate some of the benefits of warming-up to a lot of the exercising you have been performing recently. Hopefully after reading this you will understand why PT’s and exercise professionals have been using warm-ups with you and if they are not, why they should probably be doing one with you.
There has been extensive research into the effects that performing a ‘warm-up’ has on the body. It is clear from the research that increasing the muscle’s temperature, increases the speed of muscle contraction. Thereby, increasing the muscle’s ability to contract during intensive exercise such as HIIT, resistance training, plyometrics and many other forms of exercise. When exercise is immediately preceded by a low intensity active warm-up, maximal peak power and exercise time to exhaustion are enhanced (Gray & Nimmo, 2001).
Results of a study by Gray and Nimmo (2001) show that, after an active warm-up, there is an increase in maximal oxygen uptake response during exercise compared to no warm-up. This put simply, helps your muscles to perform more efficiently. Another finding was that a warm-up would help alleviate the effects of lactate build up, again making the muscles more efficient and lessening lactic acid build up. Other findings such as increased blood flow to the muscles, increased skin blood flow and increased cardiac output help the body to prepare for exercise and lessen the risk of injury.
In summary there are several benefits to performing a warm-up prior to any form of exercise. A warm-up will increase body and muscle temperature, reduce the risk of injury, reduce lactic acid build up, all leading to increased performance and safe exercising. In the coming weeks, I will be incorporating some active and passive warm-up routines into videos for you all to perform, so you can see these benefits.
Thanks for reading and see you soon!
Dan Richards – IFA Volunteer