People tend to overlook the importance of a warm-up before lifting weights. However, properly warming up is essential to ensure your muscles are ready to lift heavy loads. Apart from preparing the body, it also prepares the mind, peaking the weightlifter’s focus. But, most importantly, a warm-up is a safety precaution, as it lowers the chances of pulling a muscle or sustaining other types of injury.
Keep reading to learn what warm-up exercises you should do before a weightlifting session.
Don’t Forget Cardio
You should consider starting your exercise session with five to ten minutes of cardio. There’s no need for high-intensity cardio, just enough to warm up your muscles. You should choose a cardio exercise based on what lifts you’ll be doing. For example, hit the rowing machine before working your arms or a treadmill before a leg day.
Activate the Muscles
To achieve your best lifting form, it’s essential to have enough range of motion and flexibility. Depending on the type of lifts you’re doing, make sure to include appropriate warm-up exercises into your routine. You should do:
- Bodyweight squats for improving squat mobility and activating glutes, hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors.
- Jumping jacks for activating latissimus dorsi, deltoids, pectorals, trapezius, biceps, and triceps on your upper body and calves, Achilles tendons, quads, and glutes on your lower body.
- Arm circles for preparing the muscles in your rotator cuff.
- Leg swings for activating hip flexors, adductors, and abductors.
- Calf stretches for loosening up calves and Achilles tendons.
- Single-arm cross-body stretches for hitting the rhomboids, deltoids, and trapezius.
- Hamstring stretches for balancing out your hamstrings and quads.
Consult a Professional
If you’re just going into weightlifting, it might be best to have a couple of sessions with a personal trainer. This way, you’ll learn the proper form and receive a warm-up tailored to your needs. Also, don’t forget to consult your doctor to ensure the exercise regimen is appropriate for your current physical condition.