The purpose of the warm-up is to increase the body temperature and blood flow and to prepare the muscles and joints for the coming work-out.
Since many people today work in a chair that involves sitting for hours on end, often in front of a computer, especially the shoulder girdle and hips have to be moved slowly and the cardiovascular system has to be started. But a good warm-up is more than just that.
The standard warm-up has the following positive effects on the body:
- The increased heart rate improves the supply of oxygen to the body tissues.
- More synovial fluid is produced in the joints and more metabolism takes place in the cartilages. This makes the joints more flexible, more mobile and they are protected against wear.
- The muscles also get a better metabolism, they become more elastic and the contraction and relaxation speed increase. This makes it possible to operate more economically, and the energy consumption for movements decreases.
In our Beginner Course, the exercises of a proper warm-up are explained. You must perform all warm-up exercises consciously and with concentration. They serve not only for the general warm-up, but also to activate the important movement patterns and make them a habit. You can also prepare yourself in this way for the upcoming (load of the) workout.
A good warm-up is mainly about carefully preparing the body for the workout. The warm-up is often divided into a general part and a workout specific part.
In the Beginner Course we will go through six exercises that you can do as a general warm-up. This is also the general warm-up for the Functional Fitness Training Plan for Beginners. Then, during the lessons of this training plan or during your own work-outs, you will do a number of mobilization exercises to work specifically on your individual mobility weaknesses or problematic points. These are discussed in detail in the ‘Mobility’ lesson of the Beginner Course. The mobilization exercises that you find difficult or where you notice that they do you good, you include in the preparation for the work-out. Plan about 10 minutes for the mobilization. If you are very immobile, you can of course make it 15-20 minutes. Limited mobility (immobility) is the main reason for poor or incorrect technique: the more mobile you become over time, the easier the strength and conditioning exercises will be for you.
Work-out specific Warm-up
Following the mobilization, a few dynamic exercises are again performed as part of the workout specific warm-up. These exercises not only prepare the muscles, joints and central nervous system for the work-out ahead, but they will also prepare you mentally and neurologically. In particular, lighter versions or variants without weights of the exercises in the workout can be used for the specific warm-up during the workout. During the workout specific warm-up you can also practice movements that you find difficult or that you are not very good at. So you can practice it regularly. Preferably plan 5 minutes for this at the end of the warm-up.