Stretching couple
Fitness Essentials

How to warm up like a champion

Warming up is an essential part of your workout routine. It prepares your muscles, reduces the risk of injury and helps you get into the right mindset for exercise. It can even help you focus better during your workout, helping you get in the right mindset for exercise.

Why is warming up so important?

Warming up gets your blood pumping faster, ensuring your muscles get a steady supply of oxygen during your workouts and raising your body temperature. This helps warm up your muscles so they're more flexible and efficient, reducing your risk of injury.

The Warm Up Checklist

Remember these tips when crafting your next warm-up routine:

  • Focus on big muscle groups: Engaging large muscle groups while keeping your movements big and easy.
  • Low intensity: A good warm-up should start in a relatively low intensity and increase gradually. This is important if you want to prevent muscle cramps.
  • Adapt to your workout: Adapt the warm-up to your workout. For example, if you're performing a lower body routine, make sure your glutes, calves and quads are targeted in your warm up. You can do this by including exercises you plan to do during your workout, but be sure to keep a smaller range of motion and build up during your warm up.
  • Take your time: A usual warm-up should be about 7-10 minutes, although doing a few jumping jacks can be sufficient to warm your muscles before working out too. It will always depend on how strenuous the workout will be following your warm-up, the more difficult and longer the exercise session, the longer the warm-up should be.

All-in-One Warm-Up

If you're not sure where to begin (or you're starting a total body workout), be sure to warm up all the major muscle groups before starting. A good warm up exercise prepares the body with large dynamic movements; one classic and effective warm-up exercise is jumping jacks.

When to Stretch

It's a common misconception that you should stretch to warm up, but actually the opposite is true! Stretching on cold muscles could lead to injury, and doesn't provide great results for your flexibility. If you're planning on stretching, do this after your workout (or do a quick warm up before starting mobility work!).

Did you know that Seven includes a dynamic warm-up exercise at the beginning of most workouts? That said, if you're taking on a challenging workout (or just looking for a more extended warm up), you can always find a dedicated 'Warm Up' workout in the Library.

Read next: why mobility workouts should be an essential part of your fitness routine.