Sometimes the warm up can feel like the toughest part of your work out. At least that’s how it can feel at the time. Maybe you’re a bit stiff and sore. Maybe you’re still half asleep. Maybe you didn’t quite finish your coffee. For whatever reason, it can be tempting to skip it all together and just start smashing out your “actual” workout.
But Daniella Mufale-Tulipano from Zap Fitness Morphett Vale is here to remind us of the importance of warming up for resistance and weight training.
As a qualified PT armed with a Behavioural Science Degree, Dani certainly knows what she’s talking about, “My focus is to get people feeling amazing, achieve their goals and push themselves beyond their limits.”
So, I’m guessing that in order to push our limits, we’re going to need to limber up right?
I knew it!
According to Daniella, “There are great benefits in getting your body ready to move. Warming up will gradually increase your heart rate, increase circulation to your muscles, tendons and ligaments, and mentally prepare you for your workout. Another key reason you should warm up before working out is because this preparation helps to prevent injury. By keeping the muscles warm, you’ll prevent the chance of little injuries like strains and avoid overuse injuries by helping the body to prepare safely and gradually.”
Fair enough. I mean, I know it’s good for me but I reserve the right to whinge about it the entire time! But kidding aside, what exactly is a good warm up?
As far as Daniella is concerned, “I recommend that my clients do about 5-10 minutes on the treadmill to start off with, just to get a nice little sweat on. Then we move on to some dynamic stretches like leg swings, arm circles or trunk rotations. I then like to round out my warm ups with some bodyweight repetitions of squats or lunges, for example.”
A side note about dynamic stretches, these are not to be confused with static stretches. You know, the stretch and hold ones such as a standing quad stretch. If you jump right into static stretching without warming the body and increasing circulation, you can injure your muscles. Daniella advises saving these until the end of the workout.
But wait, there’s one more thing…
“To really sign off on my warm ups, I like to also get my clients to do an activation of some sort. Depending on the workout it may vary but my favourite is Clam Shells. This movement targets the glutes and is a great activator in preparation for squats or deadlifts. I usually get my clients to go failure on these!”
You can check out how to do Clam Shells here:
Lie on your right side with your feet and hips stacked, your knees bent 90 degrees, and your head resting on your right arm.
Draw your knees in toward your body until your feet are in line with your butt. Place your left hand on your left hip to ensure it doesn’t tilt backward. This is your starting position.
Keeping your abs engaged and your feet together, raise your left knee as far as you can without rotating your hip or lifting your right knee off the floor.
Hold for 1 second, squeezing your glutes at the top of the move, before slowly lowering your left knee to the starting position.
Wanna make it really burn…Loop a resistance band around both thighs, just above your knees.
See you at the gym!
— Prue Houston