Warming-up: the key to success

Whether you choose to workout at the gym or at home it can be really tempting to just go straight for the weights without warming up. After all, the warmup is not going to turn you into that not-quite-so-green Incredible Hulk you always wanted to be, is it? Well, technically no but preparation is key to achieving good results with whatever weight-training method you’re using. If you get into good habits from the start, it’ll soon become second nature, and you’ll have a much better chance of avoiding injury.

Get loose

Firstly, let your body know that you are not sitting at a desk staring zombie-like into a computer screen like you have been for the last eight hours. Warm up your muscles with some light jogging (this can be done on the spot if it’s raining outside), or using a rowing machine or bike.

Do this for about 10 minutes to warm up and loosen those cold, tight muscles. Now that your heart-rate has increased, your circulation will improve, and more of that lovely oxygen-rich blood is great for cold muscles and joints.

Stretch

Now that you’re feeling energised it’s time for some stretching. You can even make it less boring by putting on some sweet beats. Static stretching is fine, but active stretching (rocking slowly in-and-out of the stretch position) is better for weight-training.

Just be sure to maintain each stretch for at least 30 seconds to get the full benefit.

Dynamic warm-up

This will involve exercises like skipping, push-ups, lunges, and squats. You don’t need to over-do this (it’s pretty dependent on your own fitness level), but it’s definitely worth putting some effort in to decrease the chance of injury later.

Start lifting!

You’re now at the perfect point to start lifting weights, warmed up with minimal risk of injury and maximum potential for achieving the full benefit from your workout.