Thinking about getting back to the gym after a long hiatus? Have you had a recent injury and are wondering how to get started again? Here is a step by step guide on how to get back to the gym.
One important part about getting back into the gym is incorporating a proper warm up. The purpose of a warm up is to get blood moving to the body and get the body ready for the specific exercises you plan on performing. It is important that the warm up should correlate to the movement pattern you will be doing that day.
Here are some of the benefits of warm ups and how they can help you prevent injury:
· Help facilitate faster muscle contractions
· Help improve reaction time
· Improve oxygen delivery and blood flow to muscles
· Increased psychological preparedness for performance
Warm ups can be broken up into a general warm up and specific warm up. A general warm up consists of 3-5 minutes of a slow aerobic activity such as walking, jogging, cycling, or rowing. Following the general warm up is the specific warm up, which incorporates movements similar to the exercise you are about to perform. This could be anything from practicing the exercise you are about to perform with a light load, to moving your joints through a similar range of motion as the chosen exercise.
Below are some warm ups we like to include that are function specific for the upper and lower extremity. We’ve broken up the warm ups based on the muscle groups you’ll be working on.
Upper extremity warm up #1: Snow angles on foam roller
Upper extremity warm up #2: Resisted arc
Lower extremity warm up #1: Dynamic hip flexor stretch
Lower extremity warm up #2: Hip 90/90
After the warm up comes your exercise routine. What are your goals? Are you trying to gain strength? Put on size? Improve overall endurance? Whatever your goals are, the exercises you perform should be directed towards those goals. Intention is the best way to achieve retention!
Stay tuned for more information of how you should prioritize your workouts based on your goals and what movements you may be performing!
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