I’ve seen a lot of people who avoid these 2 things; I believe they are super important when it comes to working out: Warming up and stretching.
I am a huge advocate of warming up before tackling my workout. Who likes going into a workout cold? Doing this can lead to injury and let me tell you, injuries suck. I see a lot of people who just straight up hit the gym cold and end getting up hurt. They can’t train at maximum effort and risk getting injured.
The importance of warming up is to increase body and the deep muscle temperatures, which in turn help to heat up the muscles, ligaments and tendons in preparation for more vigorous activity. Having higher temperatures and increased blood flow resulting from a warm-up are important for delivery of oxygen to your muscles, which can help you a ton for your workout. This can prevent build-up of unwanted waste products that can lead to muscle soreness. Take the extra 10-15 minutes to warm up and increase your performance.
The way I like to warm-up, I find a small room or area where I have some room to do these. I do high knees, butt kickers, skipping and karaoke’s up and down the area. A little jump rope, hit the treadmill for 400 meters or quarter of a mile and then I start my workout. It might seem a lot but I feel great and warmed up for my workout. Warming up for lifts, i like to go 50-60 Percent of my max and do a couple reps before i start the lift.
Then after you’v killed your workout, you want to reward your body and enjoy some peace and relaxation by stretching. I love stretching and I take my time after my workout. Maybe 10-20 minutes of hard stretching. I see a lot of people who just bounce out of the gym after they finish their workout. I question them and think don’t you feel tight or something? The importance of stretching is to keep the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. You need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for your next workout, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. This puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, muscle damage and most notably INJURY! Stretching also helps with recovery. Take that extra time to treat your body right and most importantly prevent injury. You’ll be able to get that next workout in and go even harder. I like to stretch by holding each stretch for about 30 seconds, with many different stretches that can accumulate to a long time, but I’d take that time over getting injured any day. I also created a stretching playlist to help with relaxation, it was the best idea I came up with. If you have Spotify, follow me there and you can check out my stretching and gym playlists. My username is ktadeo90.
One thing I also love to do is foam rolling, I love to foam roll. It may hurt and be painful but that pain is good for you. The purpose of foam rolling is to help with muscle tightness and it also increases blood flow to your muscles and creates better mobility, helping with recovery and improving performance. Invest in a foam roller if your gym doesn’t have one you can use. Your body will thank you in the end. You can find videos on how to foam roll on youtube. I like to focus on my quads, glutes, and lower back.
Spend that extra time before and after your workout to warm-up and stretch. You will not only perform in the gym better but also prevent injury! You won’t regret spending that time to help yourself, Your body will thank you in the end. You’re going to hit your next goal, YES YOU KEN!