If you’re one who just likes to get under the bar and get to work, we salute you…and the physical therapist you’ll have to visit eventually. Starting cold, particularly when you’re training for strength, is just an injury waiting to happen. But it can also diminish your ability to press maximum amounts of weight.
Dynamic warm-ups, where you stretch your whole body through movement, elevates core body temperature and prepares connective tissue for the work ahead. But it also wakes up the central nervous system, amping it up for the coming smackdown. Still not convinced? Research published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that a 15-minute warm-up consisting of work on a stationary bike, various running drills and dynamic stretches improved quadriceps strength and hamstring flexibility. Groups performing static stretches or no warm-up at all saw no improvements.
>> Get Strong: Ahead of your next workout, perform a 10-15 minute warm-up consisting of multi-joint movements that get progressively more difficult. An example would be 30 seconds each of jogging in place, jumping jacks, walking lunges, high-knee running, shadowboxing and alternating lunge jumps.