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6 Reasons To Warm Up Before The Workout

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I have witnessed the neglect many times around the gym. The eager beaver ready to workout arrives at the gym, heads straight to the bench press (or whatever exercise), slides a couple of plates on the ends of the bar and begins a painful workout. Warming up before a workout is so important. Why? The body has to be gradually prepared for the stresses that are about to be upon it.  Below are 6 reasons given by the American Council on Exercise on why a warm up will benefit your workout.

1. Core body temperature increases which leads to more efficient calorie burning.

2. The elasticity of the muscles will improve which will help prevent injury.

3. The joint range of motion will improve.

4. A good warm up will stimulate the neural message pathways to the muscles, which results in better muscle control and reactivity.

5. Warm ups help prevent lactic acid buildup which will lead to better workouts because the energy systems are able to adjust to exercise.

6. Warming up psychologically prepares you for higher intensities by increasing the focus on exercise which will lead to better, more efficient performance.

 

In my opinion a proper warm up is anywhere between 6-10 minutes. I prefer some type of exercise performed at a gradual pace to prepare my body for more intense work such as cycling, jogging, jump rope, or body weight exercises. If my workout is to run, I warm up by performing a slower jog. I like to gradually build heat within my body to where I begin to sweat. Then the magic happens! My workouts are always much stronger with a proper warm up. Do your body good, warm up, it will make your workout more enjoyable 🙂

Be honest, do you skip the warm up to save time?

 

*All exercises are not suitable for everyone. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise or workout program.

Pilates For Runners, The Shoulder Bridge

This is part two of the Pilates for runners. I hate getting sidelined by a stinking injury so I try to do exercises to keep my quardriceps, hamstrings, glutes/piriformis and calves strong. Strength in these areas will help decrease my chance of knee injuries and instability.

This exercise is called The Shoulder Bridge which strengthens the areas mentioned above. I was reading a great article at www.ideafit.com about this exercise. I do it often so I thought it would be a good one to share. First, I come into supine position walking my feet close to my butt and I try to align my heels with my knees and my arms and shoulders are by my side.  As I inhale I lift my back off the floor one vertebrae at a time until my hips are as high as possible. I exhale. I then support my hips with my hands, engaging my glutes as I inhale the bridge a little higher. If I need to modify, I just stay in the first bridge position with the arms and shoulders by my side inhaling and exhaling as I lower and lift 6-8 times. If I want to progress further, I add the single leg lifts. I inhale one leg up and exhale back down to be parallel with the other thigh. I do each side about 6-8 times before slowly lowering the bridge down to the floor. I transition slow and controlled and I always focus on maintaining length in my spine throughout the movement. I engage my inner thighs to make sure my knees do not open.  I finish by bringing my knees to chest to relax.

Beginning/Modification:

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Shoulder Bridge with single leg lifts/advanced:

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I will continue this series of Pilates for runners later this week, so be sure if you are interested to check in again. I know there are a lot of fun races going on this time of year, so these might be exercises you may want to try. Always check with your own physician if you are starting any new exercise program. I do recommend if you have never done Pilates that you find a qualified teacher to get you started.

Hey runners, what do you think of color runs? I am thinking of doing one.

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