Warm Up Myths

“Stretching is the best way to warm up before exercising”

Stretching is not the best way to warm up, particularly before any type of training, because your muscles are cold. Stretching cold muscles can be like trying to stretch old elastic bands. They can snap!! The best way of warming up your muscles is light aerobic exercise. Not high intensity but hard enough to make you sweat and make sure they’re progressive.

“I don’t need to warm up”

Not warming up is one of the biggest exercise mistakes anyone can make. It’s like asking someone to drive a car around the block when they’ve never driven before. Warming up with aerobic exercise will increase elasticity in your muscles, allowing them to work harder and longer before fatigue sets in.

“I don’t need to warm up my legs because I use them all the time”

Your muscles are not being challenged in the same way by just walking around or by normal, everyday movement.

“ I don’t need to warm up if I’m exercising indoors”

Light aerobic activity produces heat in your muscles; the warmth of your home or studio does little to increase your internal temperature, regardless of how high the thermostat is!!

“If I warm up I lose strength”

When your body is at rest only 15 per cent of your total blood supply is going to the muscles. In order for your muscles to work at optimum performance when doing any physical activity they require up to 80 per cent of the total blood flow.

The correct way to warm up

Aerobic exercise for 6-10 minutes, depending on surrounding temperature. If you’re training outside on a cold morning it’s important to take longer before pushing yourself harder.

Mobilise joints by moving them through their normal range of movement; for example, shoulder circles, hip circles, knee bends. The FitSteps® warm-ups are designed to prepare your body for the class ahead. This part of your workout will enhance performance and prevent injury.

Mark Foster
Warm Up Myths
A Health Tip from Mark Foster