Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Warming Up Your Muscles

Many fitness enthusiasts, especially men, don’t jump start their workout with warm ups and stretching, instead they prefer to get straight to the business of muscle gain. There’s a reason why every personal trainer doesn’t skip this step in the workout plan. If you think that a mere 10-20 minutes of warming up is a waste of your gym time, better think again because in the long run, warming up your muscles can keep you from getting injuries caused by personal training.

A few minutes of light cardio work will make your heart beat faster, pumping oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, which raises your core temperature. When your muscles are warmed up, they get more elastic, allowing you to work them through a greater range of motion for muscular strength with less chances of injury. When your muscles are warmed up, you can then move on to more dynamic workout moves to directly target muscles. Dynamic movements help to boost your
weight gain training. They stimulate the nervous system and help activate your fast-twitch fibres. For example, performing the squat jump exercise allows you to lift heavier leg weights for about 30 minutes afterward. For a similar effect for your arms, perform medicine ball throws. Hold a medicine ball at chest height and throw it to a partner a couple of meters in front of you or against a wall. Pass and catch the ball as fast as you can for 3 sets of 20 reps.

Start your workout with warm ups to achieve your muscle gain goals. Here’s how to do it:

For weight workouts
a) Do 3-5 minutes of moderate cardio warm ups like rowing or running on the treadmill
b) Move on to dynamic movements like walking lunges, marching on the spot, arm and leg swings, calf raises and squat jumps. Gradually build up the speed. Take your time and recover between sets.
c) Do a very light set of 10 reps of the weights exercise you are going to attempt. Take a minute or two to recover before completing your workout.

For cardio workouts
Do the first two warm ups in the weights workout warm-up and use the same cardio equipment you're going to use for the main part of your workout. If you're planning to do either the stair sprint workout or the running sprint workout, do 4 progressively faster runs over 40m. Don’t forget to recover fully between efforts.