Man ready to start the outdoor race

When you are pressed for time, it’s tempting to skip the warm-up and jump right into your workout, but getting your body ready for exercise is crucial for not only keeping your body free of injuries but making your workout the best it can be.

According to ASCM, the warm-up intends to increase the temperature of the muscles, thus preparing the body for the demands of the endurance conditioning phase, or primary focus, of the workout.

You’ll want to keep your warmup short and light, generally about 5-10 minutes, and at about 30% intensity of your goal workout intensity. You can start with a general warm-up to raise your heart rate and breathing (light job, easy bike, or brisk walk), and then move into a sport-specific warm-up that will mimic the activity that you will be doing. Stick to dynamic warm-ups vs. static which can actually decrease the power in your workout. Regularly engaging in warm-ups before a workout can lead to enhanced performance, injury prevention, and better mental preparation.

Here’s a quick warm-up routine that can prep your body for a run.

  • 3-5 minutes of brisk walking leading to light jogging
  • Add 4-6 Strides (Strides are about 100m accelerations where you start at a jog, build to about 95% of your max speed, and then gradually slow to a stop. One stride should take you about 20-30 seconds.)
Dynamic Exercises: Repeat 4 rounds
  • 10 Jumping Jacks
  • 10 Forward Jacks
  • 10 Squats
  • 10 Alternating Step Lunges

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