What do most of us do when we walk into any training facility? We run straight for our favorite machine and start pounding out the reps. Fantastic. The workout started with a bang and is probably going to end in a bang. One that is not going to end well for you though. Injuries in the general training public occur mostly when the fitness enthusiast do not warm up properly. The body needs to be prepared for a strenuous workout and if we fail to do so, we will never reap the benefits and rewards of consistently training our bodies, due to always recovering from injuries.


A warm up session must be incorporated in every training session to prevent injuries to cold, sore or out of conditioned muscles. Warm up sessions increase the blood flow towards the muscles which will decrease the feeling of stiffness in the muscles. The athlete will also increase the performance quality of the training session.


The benefits are as follow:


•Prepare the muscles for the training session: The body and muscle temperature will increase. Due to this the muscles that are warmed up are forcefully contracted and quickly relaxed. Strength and speed is enhanced and the risk of injury is decreased.


•Temperature increase in the blood: When the athlete warms up, the blood flow to the muscles increase and as a result the body temperature rises. With the rise in temperature, the oxygen levels in the blood decreases and this oxygen is made available to the muscles. Thus, improving performance and endurance in the athlete.


•Body heat increase: With the warm up, body temperature increases which increase elasticity of the muscle which reduces the risk of pulling a muscle during the training session.


•Effective cooling mechanism: The heat dissipation system is activated during the warm up, i.e. the athlete how the athlete effectively sweats. This will help the athlete to cool down effectively and not overheat in the initial stages of the training session.


•Changes in the hormones: With the warm up the hormones that are responsible for energy regulating is increased. More carbohydrates and fatty essential fatty acids are produced for the energy needed during a training session.


•Mental preparation: Warming up is the best way for the athlete to mentally prepare for the next step in the training session or match. The warm up should not be handled as a relaxing social session. Mental focus must be an objective of the warm up session.


•Increasing range of motion: ROM is improved around the joints.


•Increase blood vessel dilation: Blood vessels “become wider” this reduces the resistance of blood flow and lowers stress on the athlete’s heart.


Even if you are only a weekend warrior, only train in the gym three times per week or run around the block with your kids. You must remember that it is essential to prepare your body for the activity that is going to follow the warm up. Doing this will dramatically increase performance in the athlete or will ensure that you can run around that block with your kids tomorrow and not cry with pain when a muscle decides it is time to "take a break"