Fitness Made Fun

Fitness Warm Up Guide
To Prevent Injury And Maximize Performance

Fitness warm up exercises are possibly the most important part of a training program, yet they are the one thing that most people don't do.

Even if they do warm up, a lot of people are unfortunately doing it the wrong way - the way that conventional knowledge tells them to warm up.

Instead of stretching for a minute or two and jumping right into your exercise regime, please take some time to read this page so you can learn how to properly warm up before exercise.

Why You Need To Warm Up

Here are a list of reasons why you need a good fitness warm up routine that you should practice before each workout:

  • It warms your muscles by increasing blood flow
  • It warms up your tendons and ligaments, allowing them to be used more effectively
  • It increases the ability for your muscles to efficiently use oxygen, which helps you get a better workout
  • It prepares your muscles for stretching
  • It increases the speed of your nervous system
  • It "warms up" your heart - preparing it for more strenuous exercise
  • It mentally prepares you to start working out

Having a good fitness warm up routine is extremely effective against injuries. Believe me, I know from experience. This is one part of fitness I've always struggled with because I always thought it was boring. However, here are some of the exercises I've come up with to help ease the boringness of warming up.

I will note that warming up is a very hard thing to make fun, but I'll try my best.

Fitness Warm Up Exercise Made Fun

Abdominal Stretch

- In this warm up exercise you can lay on a fitness ball and simply lean back as far as you can, stretching your stomach and lower back. Hold it for a second or two, and slowly come up - doing a sit up. This stretches and warms up the abs, lower back, and even the legs a little.

Shadow Kick-Box

- This is a great workout in itself, but it's also a wonderful fitness warm up. Pretend their is a horizontal rope at about your middle stomach region. Duck under the invisible rope to the left, bringing your right leg in front of your left.

Then punch straight out with your left hand. Then duck under the rope to the right, but this time put your left leg out in front. Proceed to punching with the right hand. Do this slowly (especially when ducking and moving to the other side) for a few minutes, and it will have warmed up almost your entire body. You can also do this same method, but kick instead of punch. Just remember to do everything slowly while warming up.

Balancing

- Believe it or not, this is a great warm up for the legs. Once you have a little more experience it can be for the upper body as well. To do this, I simply put myself in a few awkward positions and try to walk around like that.You can try balancing on 1 leg while turning your body from the 12 o'clock position to the 3 o'clock position.

Reach down and touch the floor (be sure to bend your legs to give them a little workout) and come back up. Then turn to the 6 o'clock position, and repeat the process. Make sure you hit the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock positions from each leg. This can be quite funny, but if you aren't careful it's easier to injure yourself compared to other warm up exercises.

Walk While Boxing

- This is exactly how it sounds. Many people walk a 1/2 mile or so to warm themselves up, but they're forgetting about their upper body! To make walking a little more interesting, consider slowly throwing punches as you're walking for a less and an upper body warm up. Like I said, fitness warm up exercises aren't the most fun thing in the world, but if you use your creativity they can at least be a little more fun than conventional warm up exercises.

One of the most important things you can do is to mimic the workout you'll be doing after you're done warming up. For example, before my kick boxing workouts I like to kick box, but I just do it at a slower pace. I usually practice the technique using the invisible rope. You should also make it a point to fully warm up every muscle in your body, including your wrists and neck.

Your body works as one unit, not as individual muscles. Just remember - warm up adequately, stretch slowly, and ease into your workouts. Nobody likes to warm up, but unless you want an injury - it's imperative that you do. Cooling down is also something that isn't very funny, but pretty important in order to keep the injuries and soreness away.

How Do You Warm Up Before Exercising?

Have a warm up that you love to do? Do you think it's effective and fun? Let us know about it!

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