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Warmin’ Up!

Building a strong body boils down to preparing your joints for a workout. “If you want to build a strong monument, you’ve got to have a great foundation. Joint integrity is the foundation on which you can build your monument,” says Todd Durkin. That means ensuring attention is paid to knees, ankles, and shoulders, as well as the small stabilizing muscles that surround them, by warming up adequately. From CrossFit Aggieland some great reasons to warm-up before each workout.

There actually is purpose and benefit to a proper warm-up and it is imperative you do not skip this important step. Some of the benefits include:

  • Increased Muscle Temperature – The temperature increases within muscles that are used during a warm-up routine. A warmed muscle both contracts more forcefully and relaxes more quickly. In this way both speed and strength can be enhanced. Also, the probability of overstretching a muscle and causing injury is far less.
  • Increased Body Temperature – This improves muscle elasticity, also reducing the risk of strains and pulls.
  • Blood Vessels Dilate – This reduces the resistance to blood flow and lower stress on the heart.
  • Improve Efficient Cooling – By activating the heat-dissipation mechanisms in the body (efficient sweating) an athlete can cool efficiently and help prevent overheating early in the event or race.
  • Increased Blood Temperature – The temperature of blood increases as it travels through the  muscles. As blood temperature rises, the binding of oxygen to hemoglobin weakens so oxygen is more readily available to working muscles, which may improve endurance.
  • Improved Range of Motion – The range of motion around a joint is increased.
  • Hormonal Changes – Your body increases its production of various hormones responsible for regulating energy production. During warm-up this balance of hormones makes more carbohydrates and fatty acids available for energy production.
  • Mental Preparation – The warm-up is also a good time to mentally prepare for an event by clearing the mind, increasing focus, reviewing skills and strategy. Positive imagery can  also relax the athlete and build concentration.

(Taken in part from this article on About.com.)




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