Even though strength training seems like low impact exercise that doesn't mean you should skip out on warming up. Start off with at least five minutes of brisk walking, jogging, biking, or jumping rope. Here are some reasons why:
- A cardio warm-up raises muscle temperature, which helps your muscles contract more forcibly and relax more quickly. You'll feel stronger and reduce the risk of overstretching or tearing a muscle.
- Aerobic activity raises your body temperature, which improves your muscles' elasticity and helps prevent injury. This also helps prevent muscle stiffness later.
- It raises your blood temperature, so your blood can't hold as much oxygen. This means there's slightly more oxygen available to your working muscles, so your performance and endurance are enhanced.
With all those different rises in temperature, you can definitely see why it is called "warming up." There are more benefits to doing a little cardio before your strength training, so read more.
- A warm up improves your range of motion around your joints.
- It dilates your blood vessels, which lowers stress on your heart.
- It increases the production of the hormones responsible for regulating energy, which makes more carbs and fatty acids available for use.
- It energizes your body and mind, making you more alert and focused, which enables you to have correct form and move with control.
I generally do 10 minutes on the elliptical before hitting the free weights. What about you?