As a trainer I see a lot of people walk straight into a weight session without any warm up or stretching, then proceed to lift heavy weight without giving the muscles any warning. This can lead to stress and injury on the body. To get the most out of the body we must treat it with respect, to achieve maximum results from any form of sport, pre and post conditioning is a key element.
Performing a warm-up and stretching routine is considered an important part of overall good health and fitness, and is strongly recommended before and after each and every strenuous weight training workout or any other exercise routine for that matter.
In general, warming up will increase the heart rate and the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body, this gets the body ready to be stretched. Stretching prepares the soft tissue and joints of the body to safely perform a physical activity. It is important to remember that a warm-up routine is not the same as a stretching routine.
Performing a warm-up routine involves the process of slightly raising your body temperature while increasing blood and oxygen circulation throughout your body, and decreases the risk of injury.
By performing a stretching routine prior to your weight training exercise workout, you will increase the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the soft tissue (i.e. muscles) of your body. This will prepare your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and skeletal frame for the weight training routine that you are going to perform.
In addition, regularly performing a stretching routine will improve your joint flexibility and range of motion, decrease the probability of injury, relieve tension and stress, and even accelerate the healing process associated with several types of injuries.
If you are about to workout, don’t forget to warm up and stretch.