One of the most essential things in a good workout is to warm up properly. With a warm-up exercise, you prepare your muscles for a period of intensive movement. It helps your body perform better and it can prevent many injuries. Although every sport is different, many warm-up exercises are the same to warm up your muscles properly. What is a warm up, what is the use of a warm up and what types of warm up exercises are there? You can read it all in this blog!
What is a warm-up?
With a warm-up you prepare your body and muscles for physical activity. Warming up literally means 'warming up', the intention is that you warm up your muscles gradually, whereby the heart rate also goes up. It is therefore not the intention that you exhaust yourself completely during a warm-up. This is not good for your muscles and you are already tired before you start your actual activity. As mentioned above, every sporting activity has its own warm-up. For example, in football you use your legs the most. The warm-up exercise is aimed at warming up your leg muscles. In fitness you often train your entire body. The warm-up has also been adjusted to this. The opposite of a warm up is a cool down. These are exercises that you perform right after physical exertion to allow the body to relax again. Here you let your body get used to the normal rhythm again by doing stretching exercises or walking at a leisurely pace.
What are the benefits of a warm-up?
There are many reasons to warm up before exercising. Not only your muscles and heartbeat are prepared for movement, your brain is also taken out of the resting position. This improves your focus during efforts and allows you to perform better. Because you prepare your brain for the upcoming intensive movements, you already let your brain get used to the exercise. So it improves your coordination.
Moving at a gradual pace also speeds up blood circulation. As a result, muscles are supplied with blood more quickly and this in turn helps prevent injuries. It helps to apply good breathing techniques during the warm-up. This way your body gets more oxygen, which has a positive effect on your blood circulation.
The best warm-up exercises?
As mentioned above, each sport has its own warm-up. That is why we will describe the best general warm-up exercises that you can use with any physical sport activity. This warms up both your muscles and prepares your brain and body for an intensive effort.
Warm up before
Warm-up for endurance sports:
In endurance sports, like many ball sports, it is important to prepare your body for prolonged and intensive movements. The warm-up for endurance sports is not only intended to prepare your body for the upcoming efforts, it also helps against cramps after physical exertion. Start with an easy jog at a consistent pace. This way you don't get out of breath and you don't waste energy. Then continue your warming up with exercises for your legs and/or arms, depending on the sport you are going to perform.
Warm-up before strength training:
Whether you can often be found in the gym or are new to the world of fitness: before you start your strength training, an active warm-up is very important. You want to increase the heart rate to warm up the muscles through blood flow. With strength training you usually use your entire body, so during a warm-up for strength training it is the intention that you warm up your entire body. The ideal device to do this is the elliptical cross trainer. You warm up both your entire leg and arm muscles and after a period of 10 to 15 minutes your muscles are ready for strength training.
Do you need to stretch and stretch after a warm up? The answer to this question differs per sport activity. When you are going to warm up your muscles for strength training, it is not advisable to stretch after warming up. This can reduce strength performance. Stretching is recommended for endurance sports to loosen all muscles. This helps prevent injuries.
Warm up muscles with ointment.
To help your muscles warm up during the warm-up, you can use a special ointment or gel. Muscle gel has been developed to warm up your muscles and promote blood circulation. Muscle gel is also recommended when you have pains or injuries, because it soothes the complaints of muscle and joint disorders. RÉVVI offers muscle gels that can be used before, during and after sports. More information about our muscle gels can be found on this page. Do you want to know more about warming up your muscles? Read our blog about heat therapy.