How the hell should I be warming up?

Ah warm ups, where to begin.  Gone are the days of a quick quad stretch and a slap on the bum before a workout (that just me) 

We've seen a shift in the fitness industry and definitely for the better.  There is now a real focus on taking time to sufficiently prepare the body for exercise.  

But where do we draw the line......

Foam rollers are great, you can throw them in your gym bag and they're an ideal alternative if you can't throw a massage therapist in there.......BUT

You don't need to spend 25 minutes shagging a foam roller or bobbing up and down on the cross trainer like you're at sea!

Your time is precious, so make the most of it.

If you're following that girl on instagram and her programme gets you to spend the same amount of time activating your glutes as it does to complete the session....question it.

Make Your Warm Up Specific

Okay let's get into it, "what should I be doing then Mat?"

The best warm up for squats is squats, the best warm up for deadlifts is deadlifts..........I know mind blown right! 

Should I be stretching? 

Yes.......but not static stretching 

With strength training you really need to teach the body two things: the range of motion and that the weight will be pretty heavy. 

The more complex the exercise the longer the warm up.

What's important is that you stimulate the sympathetic nervous system......."what the hell is that Mat?" it's responsible for the fight or flight response (it get's you bloody going in other words) 

Think of explosive movements like box jumps for example, perfect for stimulating you before a big leg session.

Now static stretching on the other hand stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system (stay with me it's important) this is responsible for keeping the body calm; so that being said can you see why static stretching would be more beneficial after a workout? it helps the body relax! 

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Are warm ups important? yes absolutely.  Make your warm up beneficial to your session and you can't go too far wrong!