Why Your Pre-Workout Warm Up Could be Working Against You
Unlike your days in high school P.E., keeping up-to-date on the latest fitness research usually falls solely on you (unless, of course, you have a PT to keep you updated). Life is busy and reading research papers is probably not top of your priority list, which means you can effectively carry on doing the same old thing in the gym for yonks not knowing it's not best practice anymore. Which brings us to: The humble pre-exercise warm up.
Depending on which gym you belong to, the type of classes you take and who you follow on Instagram (#fitspo), your idea of what a proper warm up entails could be anything from static stretches to a few quick jumping jacks. But which technique is best? According to SMH Life&Style, it’s a little bit of both.
A new review from a Canadian-led research team has found that static stretching (where each stretch is held for more than a minute) before explosive exercise can weaken you by loosening the very muscles needed to provide you with speed and power. Yikes. However, when accompanied by a dynamic warm up (think: mountain climbers or lunges), stretching does not seem to affect performance and may actually reduce the risk of muscle strains. For best results in the gym try a combination of both. We love stretching with a band like this one ($8) for a deeper stretch in less time.
Love a good stretch? This one will help you fall asleep.