Prevent Injuries: Top Reasons To Warm Up Before Exercising Or A Heavy Workout

Prevent Injuries: Top Reasons To Warm Up Before Exercising Or A Heavy Workout

If you’re the type to walk into the gym and start working out immediately without warming up, you’re putting yourself at serious risk of injury. You may think you’re too young or too active to need to worry about warming up but if you’ve ever played a sport you’ll remember that warming up beforehand is important to reduce your risk of injury. Your coach did that for good reason!

When you warm up before a heavy workout, you reduce your risk of injury, pain, and discomfort. There are many ways and reasons to warm up before exercise but reducing injuries and pain is key to being able to continue to exercise. 

In this video, Dr. Warren demonstrates 2 simple wrist warm-ups to do before a heavy workout, especially if it consists of activities that flex the wrist. If you have pain from doing push-ups, using a bench press, or just spending the day at a computer with your wrists in flexion while typing, give these 2 simple warm-up exercises a try!


Reasons To Warm Up Before You Exercise

Warming up before exercise kicks off a series of processes in your body that help you prepare for a workout and reduce the stress on your cardiovascular system. A proper warmup routine helps dilate blood vessels, increase heart rate, and supplies your muscles with the oxygen they need to work efficiently. When your muscles are working efficiently, you get the most out of your workout, and when the temperature of your muscles increases, it allows for additional flexibility to help prevent strain on ligaments, tendons, and joints.

Many people overlook the importance of warming up and don’t realize that it is critical to injury prevention, and reaching the ideal range of motion, respiratory performance, and circulatory operation to help you get the most out of your workout. It really doesn’t matter if you’re going for a light jog, lifting weights, or playing high-intensity sports, a warm-up is essential for injury prevention and helping you perform at your best. 

If your muscles are cold and tight and you launch right into exercise, you increase the risk of pulling a hamstring, straining your lower back, or tearing a ligament. Light stretching or some gentle calisthenics before you exercise will get the blood flowing, lengthen your muscles, and reduce the likelihood of getting hurt.

If you’re on the skeptical side and don’t see the importance of warming up, you should know there have been studies that show the efficacy of warming up before exercising. This 2012 review study found a well-implemented warm-up consisting of stretching, strengthening, balance, agility, and landing techniques helped reduce the incidence of knee injuries. If you’ve ever had a knee injury you know how painful and debilitating they can be and something as simple as warming up before exercising can help prevent them.

Not only does warming up help you perform better and prevent injuries, but it also helps you recover better after your exercise and decreases the soreness and stiffness that can come after a heavy workout. A cool-down offers similar benefits to a warm-up. During a cool-down, you slow your body down from exercise gradually, which helps to reduce muscle tightness and can help prevent soreness later. 

When you’re beginning your cool-down your muscles are still warm from exercise so ideal cool-down activities include a less intense version of your workout (walking after you’ve been running) and stretching. Stretching muscles that are already warm will help with your flexibility and can prevent stiffness and soreness.


How Long Should You Warm Up Before Exercise?

The amount of time you need to warm up is correlated with the intensity of the workout you’re preparing for. In general, it’s good to warm up for 10-15 minutes before working out. Many competitive athletes preparing for a high-intensity workout like a cycling race spend about 30-60 minutes warming up.

Your warm-up routine should consist of a range of exercises to help you limber up and get your heart rate up. These exercises may consist of a combination of static stretches, stretching tight or trouble areas, exercises that activate the muscles you’re about to use, and exercises that get your heart rate up like jumping jacks or jogging. If you’re warming up to play basketball, for instance, you want to warm up the muscles you’re about to use in the way you’re going to use them so you’d want to jog, sprint, and shoot some practice shots.

If for example, you’re about to do push-ups, use the bench press, or do any other activity that involves flexing the wrist, do the wrist warm-ups that Dr. Warren demonstrates in the video. They are great if you’re prepping for a heavy workout or if you’re just having wrist pain before or after a workout.

If you want to exercise more without risking injury, our Functional Strength Program is for you! The Functional Strength Program is a fully customized, personalized, 1-on-1 fitness strength program built around you, how you move, and the joints in your body that are most at risk of injury. The Functional Strength Program, or FSP, is a full-body rehab program designed for those that want to start working out again but are worried they will hurt themselves.

Does that sound like you? Call our office today (410) 296-7700 or schedule your appointment online by clicking here. We can’t wait to help you feel better faster!

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Kalkstein Chiropractic
200 East Joppa Road #300
Towson, MD 21286
(410) 296-7700