Why the Warm-Up?

Why do we have you warm-up?

You walk into AMP, put your things down, grab a foam roller, a spot on the turf and begin the designated warmups that are listed on the wall. Have you ever asked yourself why? Other than because your trainer said to. Lets explore the reasons why your AMP trainer wants and requires you to perform your warm-up exercises.
Warm-ups are an integral part of your workout and are named for their purpose. These exercises are carefully selected to warm yourself up physically and mentally for the session to follow. How exactly does it prepare you physically? As you perform each exercise you are increasing not only your range of motion, but your circulation, body temperature and heart rate too.  Through the movements and duration of your warmup you are gradually allowing your ligaments, tendons, and muscles to loosen and become more flexible. You wouldn’t think that would be imperative, we move all day. However, a main focus of ours at AMP is moving properly. Our lives have us shutting off important major muscles and groups of muscles just from sitting all day. So even though we move, we may not be moving in the way our bodies are intended to. Performing our warmup exercises takes your body through full ranges of motion and wakes up muscles that may not have been engaged all day. Certain exercises are included particularly to correct the movements and structural issues caused by these inactive muscles. The weather lately has been beyond freezing, literally. Think of your car, you give it time to run before hitting the highways. It’s not in the best interest of the cars health or performance if you set out with all the gears and belts cold. The same is true of your body. Especially in the cold weather, it is essential for your body to warm up properly before engaging in more intense movements in a challenging workout.
Did you ever think that the warmup before the workout is beneficial for you mentally? We hear our clients constantly voice how the workout is their ‘me time’ and it’s true. It is your time to focus and connect with your body. If there is something on your mind, stressing you out, or even if it feels as though the world is on your shoulders. When you come to workout, you have the ability to check all of that at the door and focus on you and working your body. Of course, it is nearly impossible for you to immediately walk through the door and leave everything behind. This is where the warmup comes into play. As your body begins working, your mind can start to tune the world out. Focusing on moving through each assigned exercise and preparing your body will help you to shut out the stress of the day. When performing your warmups focus on each exercise, each rep. Perform every one with a purpose, not just to go through the motions. This preparation will carry over into your workout, helping you to focus at the task at hand instead of anything and everything else. Another mental benefit of warming up is that you can go through major movements that may be included in you workout thus preparing your mind for more strenuous activities in which weight may be involved. Imagine going into a goblet, front or back squat without performing the squat mobility first. Your first reps would be rough and very hard to perform. Warming up prepares your mind for the movements at a more intense level. “Mind over matter” is a popular quote for a reason. If your mind is prepared for the task at hand you will accomplish a great deal more.
Now that body and mind are connected via your warmup, how can you benefit even further? By arriving 5-10 minutes before your scheduled session and beginning your warmup. We have seen great results from our clients who make a habit of this routine. If you have to rush through a warmup to make the most of your session how efficient will your warmup now become? Not only does arriving early give you plenty of time to warmup at your own pace, but it also allows you to get the most out of your session. By not taking time out of your allotted half hour or hour session to perform your warmup you can get that much more time with your trainer.
So why not try making it a goal this next week to not only perform your warmup proficiently, focused and beforehand and notice the benefits it brings to your session with us at AMP.