Did you workout today? Better question, did you warm-up before your workout today? Did you know that a warming up can result in a better workout? Hopefully today I can convince you why your pre-workout routine is so important.
Your warm-up routine both physically and mentally prepares you to workout. Warming up prevents injuries from happening by prepping the body for more intense movement. Taking the time to warm-up also helps to mentally prepare you for what is to come.
Warm-ups are especially important on key training days. For example, if one of your fitness goals is to get a bigger butt. Your warm-up on leg day is vital. If you are trying to get a stronger back, whether or not you warm-up could be the difference between a good or a bad workout. Let’s talk about why and how to warm-up, so that you can have the most effective workout.
Start with foam rolling
The first thing you should do in your warm-up is roll out your muscles. This is particularly important if you have overactive muscles (which we all do) or joint pain caused by overactive muscles (which is usually the case). Grab a foam roller, tennis ball, or rolling stick and roll through some of your tighter areas. Specifically roll out the areas that may affect your workout.
For example: If your goal is to get a bigger booty, you should take 5 minutes before your workout to roll out your quadriceps. If your quads are tight during a butt workout – they will take over. You will feel your thighs and your butt will not get a good workout. This is less likely to happen if you roll out first!
If you have never used a foam roller before, try this throwback MFit workout or read this article to get some more information. I have put all of my favorite rolling tools in the MFit Amazon store, so check that out if you are looking for some new toys.
After you have finished foam rolling, transition into some active stretches and mobility work. All of the workouts in my MFit home workout plans begin with a very fluid, mobility heavy warm-up. Each movement is connected, active, and serves a purpose.
In this part of your warm-up you should focus on getting the whole body warm and loose, but still put some extra emphasis on the muscles you intend to train in your workout. However, I always recommend including some hip and chest-opening exercises in this section of your warm-up, regardless of what body part you are training in your workout.
By the end of the mobility section, you should feel quite warm. Now it is time to basically start your workout. But before you pick up any weights, I recommend going through 2-5 activation exercises. Activation exercises are isolated movements that will fire up specific muscles groups. These are small movements that can be done with bodyweight or resistance bands.
In my opinion, this is the make or break moment of your workout. If you are trying to get stronger and seriously change your muscles (appearance, size, strength), you need to activate them first! Do this video before your leg workouts if you want to feel your butt more. Or try this video before your back workouts. These activation exercises will maximize your results and give you a better workout.