Taylor Hurlock  |  Physical Exercise Specialist, Personnel Support Programs

A proper warm up will help to safely increase heart rate, prepare muscles and tissues for the work ahead, and prevent injury from occurring. Most people start their warm up with stretching; however, static stretching relaxes our tissues which can put us at greater risk of injury. It is best to start with 5 to 10 minutes of light aerobic activity, such as walking, jogging, or biking. This is a safe and effective way to increase heart rate, allowing blood to pump throughout the body, warming up muscles and tissues.

Next, add in dynamic stretching such as external hip openers or leg swings (hip flexion and extension). Dynamic stretching allows us to actively move through our range of motion, opening up the joints and increasing mobility. Finally, end your warm up with activity specific movements. For example, if you are preparing to squat with resistance, adding body weight squats to your warm up will better prepare you for the activity ahead.

An effective warm up will last 10 to 15 minutes. However, certain populations, such as seniors and athletes, may need more time to prepare their tissues and safely increase heart rate. If you want more tips and tricks on how to be more effective and efficient in the gym, feel free to check us out on Instagram @PSPKingston or on our website at www.pspkingston.com