By Claudette Sariya
Have you ever found an old balloon leftover from a birthday party? Was it deflated, a little crusty, probably a bit brittle as well? When we don’t properly warm up before a workout, especially after some time off, the same can be said about our muscles. And if we try to stretch an old balloon, or flex a forgotten muscle, we’ll find that both can tend to snap.
To prevent a pulled muscle, tear, or injury, we should always begin our workouts with a warmup. A combination of myofascial release and dynamic movements can prime our muscles, get the blood flowing, and decrease our risk for injury. When we take the time to warm up, we ensure that our muscles can find elasticity, and that they’ll be able to get the oxygen needed for an effective workout.
Your warmup should include movements that mimic the exercises in your workout overall. For instance, if you know you’ll be taking on heavy squats or deadlifts, include some glute bridges and air squats. If you’re taking on a heavy chest and back day, prime the upper body with some banded pull aparts and push-ups with rotation.
Getting the blood pumping to your prime movers is also important. Light cardio, such as a quick jog, high knees, or jumping jacks are fantastic options here. If you need something more low impact, you can always hop on a bike.
Unlike party balloons, your muscles aren’t easily replaceable. Slow down and make a warm-up a non-negotiable part of your workout regimen. I promise, you won’t regret it.