Believe it or not, a properly performed warm-up can help prevent an injury while at the same time, prepare your body and mind to get the most out of your exercises.  The initial movements are designed to prepare you for the activity you are about to do and is essential to increase the blood flow to muscles and also raise your core temperature.  It can also help to reduce muscle and joint stiffness by the end of the workout.

The latest studies confirm that you get the most out warm up by utilizing dynamic stretches and short static stretches.  It is important to have a routine that includes all the major muscles that you will be using in your sport or activity.  Ideally, a warm up can start with a slow general motion (jogging for basketball, overhead stretches for swimming etc.) and then progressively advance the tempo. Over time, you can build up the tempo of the warm up with an emphasis on performing movements that are specific for your sport or activity.  Once you start warming up, you can start to increase the tempo further by doing more sport-specific drills.

Keep in mind that environmental factors can change your warm up requiements.  It may be that you need to warm up longer in colder conditions and for shorter periods it hotter conditions. In addition, the intensity or level of competition you are engaged in can also have an influence on how intense your warm is.

So remember to make your warm up an integral part of your exercise routine to get the most out of your exercises and to perform them safely.

Emery Physical Therapy in Mt Prospect has provided exercise prescription and rehabilitation for over 17 years with great success.  If you have any questions or would like to learn more about your options for conservative care with physical therapy, contact us today.