Without doing a proper pre training warm up routine you could leave yourself open to injury and other problems. We asked a professional personal trainer in the UAE what warm up exercises are the best and why we should do them.
Q1: Before exercise of any kind we are always advised to warm up first. How does a warm up routine help and why is it required?
Warming up is an essential part of any type of exercise. The muscles need to be prepared for the movements to come in order to prevent injury.
It is also required to get the body in the right temperature, which increases the muscles’ flexibility and ability to perform fast and strong moves.
Furthermore, I find that warming up helps the breath find a steady rhythm and the lungs cope with the extra need of oxygen during the workout.
Q2: Do warm up exercises differ based on the workout you are doing with a client in Dubai? For example, are kickboxing warm up routines different than a warm up for weight training?
Yes and no; the warm up can be the same for all exercises if the intensity was low and the warm up was done properly.
On the other hand, if the intensity is high, and the exercise is very specific, then the warm up should prepare those targeted muscles to perform those specific movements.
Q3: How long would you normally spend doing warm up exercises with a client?
I normally start them with a full body ten-minute-warm up on a cardio machine.
Then spend two to five minutes on specific movement warm up based on the intensity of the session and the targeted muscles.
Q4: What are your top 5 exercises for warming up before a training session and how/why do you think these work best?
I find it important to spend a minimum of five to ten minutes on a cardio machine to get the heart rate up, the breathing in the right rhythm and get the body temperature higher.
For outdoor exercises, I would have my clients do a five-minute-jog around the area as a substitute and then add another five minutes of jumping jacks, high knees and so on.
Afterwards, I would do a two-minute dynamic stretch routine to warm up the joints from neck to ankle.
Finally – depending on the type and intensity of the workout- I would have them perform similar movements to what’s planned for the session using only their body weights.
This step is optional, and I mainly incorporate it during strength training sessions, where the muscles are heavily loaded.