Lifting heavy weights is a lot of fun. It’s a great way to build muscle, build calories, and get stronger.
However, lifting heavy weight requires preparation. You don’t want to come in off the street cold and get under a 500-pound barbell. You have to warm up properly if you want to maximize your gains and avoid potential injuries.
Here are a few ways to warm up for your next weightlifting session.
Movement is the key to warming up for a weightlifting session. You want to get your muscles accustomed to moving. A great way to get the blood pumping is to warm up with some light cardio work.
Walk on a treadmill for a few minutes at a slow-to-moderate pace. Be intentional as you get your body accustomed to movement. You can also try things like jumping rope, jogging in place, or any other form of cardio. Just keep the intensity low!
Dynamic Warm Up
Dynamic stretches are different from the standard toe touch and hold. You want to perform repetitions of movements like arm circles, squats, leg swings, and others. Do a few sets until you feel loose and ready to perform at your highest level.
Again, movement is the key. Static stretches (ones that you hold over a period of time) are not great for getting your muscles ready to work.
You want movements that will mimic the ones you will be doing with the weights. If you’re doing squats, try bodyweight squats. If you’re bench pressing, do some push-ups.
Warm Up Sets
You don’t want to immediately step under the heaviest weight you can lift. This is a recipe for injury and lackluster sets. You should perform some warm up sets to get your body ready to lift.
Start your lift with lighter sets. Don’t train close to failure. Get your body ready to lift with 1-3 sets of these lighter weights, then add more and train closer to failure. Your muscles will be warm and able to perform at their highest capacity.
Core Warm Up
Your core is incredibly important for almost any weightlifting exercise. It helps to stabilize your spine and internal organs as you move and lift heavy things.
Warming up these muscles is easy and quick. Try doing 60 seconds of mountain climbers, inchworms, and jumping jacks. Your core – and the rest of your body – will thank you.
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