Whenever you plan to engage in physical activity, it is a good idea to gently warm-up first, as this prepares your body and mind to safely engage in the more intense exercise to follow.

Static stretching – assuming positions where you feel a pull in the targeted muscles and then holding these positions for 30 seconds or so – has traditionally been a part of many warm-up routines. Unfortunately, research has meanwhile proven that pre-work-out static stretching is not the most beneficial activity to include in your warm-up protocol, as it does not appear to prevent exercise-related injury; also, it does not do much to increase body temperature, increase heart rate and blood flow to your muscles, or to get you mentally ready for action. Static stretching of major target muscles prior to exercise fails to effectively prepare the athlete for the sports specific task at hand, relaxes the muscles, and may actually negatively affect force production, power performance, strength endurance and reaction time, thereby decreasing overall athletic performance.    

Active warm-up exercises and dynamic stretches, including jumping jacks, arm circles, leg swings ( forward and side to side), bodyweight- lunges and -squats, trunk rotations, etc., performed prior to your work-out, have quite the opposite effect; they are actually highly effective to elevate the heart rate, increase blood flow to the areas which will be trained, decrease the risk of injury, and wake up the nervous system throughout the body. This prepares the athlete much better for the task at hand and contributes to enhancing strength, power and range of motion.


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