Warm-ups may seem like fitness 101, but it is often the simplest things in our routines that we need to stop and examine every now and then. Truthfully, when we are pressed for time or just anxious to get through our workout and onto something else, the thing that often gets put aside is the warm-up. Part of that could be due to not making the warm-up truly part of our workouts by matching it to what we plan to work on. Deliberate or specific warm-ups can be the answer to skipped workouts.
A specific warm-up is when you focus on just the areas of your body you are working on that day. So if you are working on increasing your speed on the track one day, you design your specific warm-up to support that goal. There are several great benefits to this.
One of the biggest reasons warm-ups get skipped is because of time. Not everyone has 2 hours to spend in the gym every day and so they want to get the most out of the time they are there. By using targeted, specific warm-ups you can concentrate on the joints and muscles you will be training and cut your warm-up down to no more than 20 minutes.
While our brains thrive on routine, they also crave novelty. It’s easy to get burnt out on your warm-up if you are moving through the motions and doing the same thing every day. By using specific warm-ups, you maintain the novelty factor for longer and are more likely to stick with the routine of including your warm-up.
When you choose specific warm-up exercises that are focused on what you will be working on that day, you are doing two things to help with injury prevention. First, you are warming up exactly what you will be using and putting more time and effort into those areas than you would with a general warm-up. Two, you can focus on the sensations and feedback from your body for those movements. You allow your mind to really dial in on those areas and raise your mindfulness of how they feel and how they are moving that day.
If you are interested in implementing specific warm-ups into your fitness routine there are a few things you should consider.
Find a Trainer
The best way to make sure you are getting the most out of a specific warm-up is by talking to a trainer or coach about your goals. They are going to be able to make sure you prevent injury, are doing the correct exercises for your goals, and help you grow in your sport. We offer personalized programs that include specific warm-ups to help athletes of all levels reach their goals.
Make sure that you don’t get to the gym and then decide you want to do a specific warm-up that day. You should know what you are doing that day ahead of time. That is why workout programs are a great way to keep you safe and on track. That way you can plan the correct amount of time for each step of your workout and your warm-up doesn’t get discarded in the interest of time.
Know Your Body
Every body is different. Get to know yours. Some people need more generalized warm-ups every time because of joint disorders, muscle imbalances, or a variety of other reasons. You need to know your body well enough that you can adapt and know if the specific warm-ups are what your body needs and are working for you.
We would love to help you get to know your body and help you achieve your goals. Our M3 group is a great place to start for general fitness as well as improving your mobility. We also offer customized programming as well as premade programs. Each of our premade programs offers warmups designed for specific areas of the body so you can strengthen and protect them. To learn more about specific warm-ups listen to episode