Warming up before a serious workout is an important factor in your health and safety. Choosing a rigorous, effective warm-up will help you avoid injuries which can further delay your fitness progress. The right warm-up exercises can create an amazing difference in your performance and ability to amp up your strength and endurance.

In this article, we’ll be taking you through the top most effective warm-ups to do during a workout.

We’ll be discussing each point, going through the gist of each one and how it keeps you safe during a workout. Keep reading to find out which warm-ups should be on your gym routine.

Stretching

Whether diving for the ground or reaching for the ceiling, stretching can make a big difference. By slowly getting your muscles used to deep stretching movements, you can increase your flexibility and improve your posture. Make sure that you start slow: take note of your hamstrings–if they feel a little bit tight, don’t force yourself. Remember that you should never feel pain when doing these exercises. Take your time and watch yourself progress over time.

Recent experts have mentioned that stretching is best when done slowly, with little to no bouncing. Remember that everyone’s bodies and fitness levels are different. What works for Persona A may not work for Person B. Track your own progress and go slowly but surely. Take it slow and see your improvement. Listening to your body is crucial when beginning a workout.

Yoga

Yoga is both a strength exercise and a means of active stretching–this means you also get to engage your muscles as you warm up. Although it’s famous for poses like “Cat-Cow” or “Dancer Pose”, at its heart, Yoga is about alignment and balance. Yogis should never try and force themselves into a stretch–it’s all about personal development and progress.

At its core,  yoga is about learning how to sync your movement with your breathing. Each movement is timed with your breathing technique. Yoga as a warm-up is perfect for those who are doing a lot of strength exercises and are looking to make strength movements easier.

Mild Cardio

You can also go for cardio–as long as you start off slow and light, this will definitely help you out in the long run. Think of your main cardio exercises like jumping jacks and jump squats and then lower the intensity a bit. Make sure to match the warm-up to the main exercise: if you’re going running, try jogging in place for thirty seconds. If you have burpees in your routine, try a round of slow planks.

Bodyweight Strength Exercises

There are a lot of articles which talk about how to prepare for intense running or jumping–but what preparing for strength exercises? Contrary to popular belief, weight training actually burns a lot more calories than cardiovascular-centric workouts. The body burns fat, raises its resting metabolic rate, and builds muscle all at once. If you’re planning to do a superset for your arms and shoulders–then a round of bodyweight rows is perfect. This equips your muscles to take the burden of weights when you get to the main workout.

Strength-Band Stretches

This is ideal for those who are in intensive but low impact fields like swimming and cycling. The difficulty in these types of exercises is usually more to do with resistance rather than weight. By using the right equipment, you can train your muscles to increase power.

For those with ligament and tendon injuries, these bands are a great alternative to the heavy lifting that could cause misalignments and further injuries. This is also great for those who are about to do a Pilates workout. This type of warm-up gives you the long, lean body that comes with lower-impact sports.

Conclusion

Warming up is an integral part of your workout routine–or at least it should be. It helps you avoid injuries, build strength, and raise your cardio endurance. However, it’s not enough to just have a warm up–it has to be the right one. You need to suit the tool to the task. Pick a warm-up that’s suited for your main exercises.

There are a lot of ways to check if you’ve got the right warm-up exercise: you can consult with a fitness professional or you can consult an online fitness resource. By choosing an exercise that gets your muscles pumping intensely, you can get the most out of a thirty-minute workout. Make sure you don’t work hard, but that you work smart for best results!