When it comes to warm-up, we tend to skip it, as we are not aware of the benefits that it has. Performing a warm-up exercise before weightlifting will not only keep injuries away but will also activate your body to go through any rigorous training, that you will undertake in your gym session. Before starting any sports or exercises, it is highly recommended that an individual should perform warm up strictly to evade any possible injuries.
In our series of articles catered to warm-up exercises, we have come up with another segment, where we will figure out some of the relevant exercises that one should perform as a warm-up before lifting weights. The warm-up exercises before weightlifting have been defined in stages and they should be done as it is. However, we recommend that you should consult your coach or a sports physiotherapist to have a better understanding of the warm-up exercises required for yourself.
Benefits of Warm-Up Exercises Before Weightlifting
Incorporating weightlifting and resistance training can be a part of any individual’s daily workout regime. But it should be noted that before indulging yourself with heavy weights, you need to warm up your muscles first. Your warmup preps your body for the load to come, including getting your joints and connective tissues in tip-top shape. You also need to have enough range of motion (ROM) and flexibility for the best lifting form. This helps keep to evade all types of injuries away.
- Increase Body Temperature – Warming up is literally about getting warm. A good warm-up increases your core temperature. Stoking that internal fire will help improve bodily function and circulation. It also makes your muscles much more flexible. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a flexible athlete, you need to lubricate those joints before sinking into the bottom of a squat.
- Increases Blood Flow and Oxygen Delivery – A proper dynamic warm-up will increase muscle blood flow and total body blood circulation. This is key for delivering oxygen-rich blood to the muscle tissue and clearing out metabolic by-products from previous training sessions.
- Mental Preparedness – Performing warm-up exercises before weightlifting gives you the chance to mentally prep for a training session or competition. If you move through the same dynamic warm-up routine before each workout, it can become a ritual. Thus, this ritual turns extremely soothing and centring as you pump yourself up for a dialled-in session.
- Injury Resilience – The better your body is warmed-up, the more likely injury is prevented during your training. With your blood pumping to the muscles, you are less susceptible to muscle strains. Your connective tissues will be warmer, with more nutrients and energy from the blood.
- Increases flexibility in Your Muscles – To increase the flexibility of your muscles stretching is considered one of the best warm-up exercises before weightlifting. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles, and allows your body to increase its flexibility in both the short and long term.
Best Warm-Up Exercises Before Weightlifting
1.) Squats – Squats are considered one of the best warm-up exercises before weightlifting as it activates a whole range of muscle groups, from your glutes and hamstrings to your quads and hip flexors. They also warm up your lower back and core.
Steps To Perform
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and toes pointing forward.
- Squat down, pressing through your heels, like you’re sitting in a chair. If you’re doing box squats, stop once your hip and knee joint reach the same level. However, if you’re doing full squats, keep going to a full squat position with hips below knees.
- Return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes at the top of the squat.
- Do 3 sets of 10 reps or perform squats for 45–60 seconds.
2.) Jumping Jacks – Jumping Jacks is one of the best warm-up exercises before weightlifting. It activates your upper body, including your deltoids, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, pectorals, biceps, and triceps. They also activate your lower body, from your calves and Achilles tendons to your quads and glutes.
Steps To Perform
- Stand with feet together and arms at your sides.
- Jump your feet out wider than hip-width while raising your arms overhead. If you want, you can clap your hands at the top.
- Jump back to the starting position and repeat.
- Perform jumping jacks for 30–60 seconds.
3.) Arm Circle – The arm circle is one of the best warm-up exercises before weightlifting. Basically, it is a dynamic stretch that takes your arms through the full ROM using muscle and momentum. Arm circles are an excellent warmup before a session devoted to upper-body lifts.
Steps To Perform
- Stand with feet together and hands at your sides.
- Lift arms forward toward your shoulders, then circle them around behind your shoulders as far as you can and bring them back to the starting position.
- Create a continuous circle, and perform this motion for 30 seconds.
- Change the direction of your arm circles and continue for another 30 seconds to complete 1 set.
4.) Leg Swings – Leg Swings are one of the best warm-up exercises before weightlifting. Performing this dynamically warms up your hip flexors and adductors. They are considered an important warm-up for legs before you indulge yourself in working on power or explosive moves.
Steps To Perform
- Stand with a stable object or surface at your side to hold on to for stability if you need it. Your feet should be directly in line with your knees and hips.
- Swing your opposite leg (the leg on the side that’s not next to the stability object) in front of your body. You don’t have to swing as high as you can, but you should feel a slight stretch in your hamstring.
- Maintaining momentum, swing your leg behind your body without arching your back.
- Use your momentum to continue swinging your leg from front to back.
- Repeat on this side for 30 seconds.
- Switch sides, making sure the stability surface or object is on the opposite side from the leg that will be swinging.
- Repeat for 30 seconds, as you did on the first side.
5.) Hamstring Stretch – Hamstring stretch is highly necessary as this most inevitable muscle is used in all kinds of lifts, from lunges to deadlifts. Muscle imbalances between the hamstrings and quads are common, but these two muscle groups balance each other out with a proper warm-up stretch.
Steps To Perform
- Standing with feet hip-width apart, bring one foot forward, with toes pointing up.
- Bend at your hips, keeping your front leg straight and core engaged.
- Try to reach your toes while bringing your torso toward the front thigh. It’s ok if you can only reach your knee or shin.
- Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Repeat on the other side.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.