The Importance of Warming Up

Whether beginning a competitive sport or a grueling workout at the gym, warming up beforehand is absolutely essential. After all, nobody likes getting hurt–especially when it can so easily be avoided.

We simply need to ensure that our pre-workout pattern includes a standard warmup with a few minutes of stretches. Here are some reasons why:

Mental preparation

If you are going to the gym or doing sports, the warmup enables you to focus on the objectives, preparing you to put every ounce of your effort and energy into the workout or game. It also helps clear your mind of distractions and concerns over unrelated matters.

Injury prevention

This is the most obvious reason, and the reason why warming up is mandatory rather than a mere suggestion. It helps prevent muscle and bone injuries during the workout. This is because warming up is what helps the muscles remain supple.

Failure to warm up before an activity can potentially lead to dislocations of the joint, strains to the muscles, tendon injuries, shin pain or shin splints, and bone fractures.

Granted, these are generally worst-case scenarios. Nevertheless, even a minor consequence–such as pulling a muscle–can force you to sit out for the entire game…or avoid going to the gym for a week or two. These aren’t exactly the results we had in mind…so avoid these unnecessary setbacks.

Increases blood circulation

Warming up is one of the best natural methods to increase the blood circulation throughout the body. Our blood circulation enhances the flow of nutrients and oxygen in the muscles. This will, in turn, give you the energy you need to perform your very best at the activity. Finally, having a good circulation ensures adequate oxygen supply, preventing potential cases of oxygen deficits and muscle pulls.

In addition, it raises the cardiovascular function and increases the flow of blood to your brain. This boosts the supply of blood to the brain, allowing you to stay alert longer. This is crucial to activities that require full concentration.

Increases body flexibility

Flexibility is an important aspect of fitness and physical performance. It determines the range of motion which can be achieved without injuring your muscles or joints. The more you warm up, the more flexible your body becomes.

Improves the heart and respiratory rate

An increased heart rate improves the blood circulation in the whole body. This helps by supplying the body with enough oxygen and preparing it for physical activity. 

Helps increase body and muscle temperatures

The phrase “warming up” is actually quite literal, as it raises your body temperature to some extent. Warm muscles are flexible and fit. However, an excessive increase in temperature can lead to water loss through sweating. This is another reason to be gentle with yourself during your warmup, avoiding overexertion.



Many of the most popular warmup techniques are stretches. In these cases, you should warm up by stretching your muscles–but not to the point of discomfort or overexertion–then come back to your normal position or pose.  

Similarly, you can warm up your body by bending forward and holding a hamstring stretch for 30 seconds, holding a joint in a stretched position for one minute, squats (without weight), toe touches, etc.

Other common stretches include knees-to-chest stretches, thigh stretches, side seat straddles, forward lunges, and side lunges.

Another involves walking, then quickly increasing the speed until it becomes a run, within a relatively short distance. When it comes to stretching your muscles, this is among the most effective warmup of all.

Of course these are just a few of the many effective styles. Let us know if you have any additional warmup techniques you’d like to share!