Warm up properly before the workout?

The method of proper preparation/warming up before exercise has always been controversial among athletes. While some of them swear by it, others see warming up as a waste of energy that should be avoided. But which approach is correct?

The importance of warming up properly before sportWarming up is actually important! This is because it fulfills numerous functions that result in better athletic performance and better physical protection. The following points play an important role in this context:

1. the warm-up provides physical preparation by stimulating and warming up the muscles
2. it is also about mental processes: Warming up prepares you for the stressful situation
3. the body is given the opportunity to get better results from the training through preparation
4. the body temperature increases - 39 degrees Celsius is optimal for supporting important metabolic processes
5. the oxygen supply and utilization increases - usually about threefold.

How should you warm up correctly?

A proper warm-up is divided into different phases and processes, each of which has its own important significance. First and foremost is the so-called "general" warm-up. This involves the entire body and prepares it completely and as a unit for the expected performance. It also involves mental preparation. If you warm up properly, you should keep certain mental images in mind at the same time, for example of top sporting performances or victories. This motivates and strengthens the mind and body for training and competition.

The general warm-up takes place as part of endurance training, which can be done in the gym on a stepper or bicycle ergometer, for example. This warms up the large muscle groups, gets the blood flowing and strengthens the heart. This first phase of warming up should be done slowly at first and then increased and last for around a quarter of an hour. The aim is to achieve a pulse rate in the range of 120 to 140 heartbeats per minute after a calm start.

The "special" or "specific" warm-up is then part of an athlete's training plan. This takes into account the planned type of sport and the muscle groups that are to be trained during the actual workout. By paying particular attention to these muscle groups, blood circulation and body heat are shifted to this area. In addition, the supply of oxygen to these muscle groups increases. This protects against injuries and ensures optimum preparation, which is very important for successful training. The type of special/specific warm-up should be based on the typical movement of the chosen sport. At this stage, the muscles should be introduced to the type of movement they will be performing during the competition. The duration of this phase depends on personal preference and cannot be specified in general terms. In addition to personal preferences and the type of sport chosen, environmental influences such as the outside temperature also play an important role.

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