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Here in Iowa, everyone loves the double digit negative temperatures in the winter; NOT!! On days like that, there is a focus to make sure things are warmed up like our cars, pipes and furnaces are primed. We should daily do the same with our bodies.

Prior to a training session, a warm up is more than just elevating body temperature. It’s also about preparing the body to do the work that will be placed on it. Below are a few boxes to check:

Body temperature: Get your body temp up (esp in the cold). It doesn’t mean you are dripping sweat, but it is a necessary aspect of getting the muscle activated.

Muscle activation: Contract the muscles that are going to be used. Getting some blood flow into them helps not just performance, but prevent injury.

Neuro muscle connection: Prep the body to the movement. This helps the CNS better respond by going through the complete motions to be done.

Here is an example warm up: Foam roll bodyparts for 1-2 min. Do some dynamic stretching and muscle activation through band work. Go to first exercise, do a very light set of 12. Then increase to 50% of weight to be used, do another set of 8. Finally, go to the weight you are to use and only do 5 reps to make sure your body is ready.

Every person’s warm up will look a bit different, but the above will get you in the ballpark. Don’t get lazy on it, it is a formula for success and injury prevention. Unlike snowbirds, we can’t move south to stay warm in the winter when it comes to our bodies.

Warming up before working out


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