Are you a warmup skipper? Then read on….

I get it, I too used to frequently skip warm ups (whilst actually learning and educating myself on movement through a sports science degree!) Now, I never skip a warmup.
Let’s break this blog down into three short snippets…
a) Warm Up Skippers :: Do any of these narratives resonate with you?
b) An alternative way to look at warmups
c) Benefits of warmups for your body and mind!

Do any or all of these resonate with you?

  • Your small window of opportunity needs to be fully utilised into your activity.

The to do list is long, my time for my favourite movement is limited. Time is of the essence! Adding in a warmup will just take time away from my chosen exercise.

  • You know you should do it, but it’s bloomin’ boring!

Why am I doing some leg swings, lifting a broomstick instead of a loaded bar or mobilising some joints when I could be doing what I love?! This is a boring alternative to the real deal.

  • You don’t really know what you’re doing or if it is doing anything worthwhile

I copy some movements that I see instructors/trainers do in the classes/gym floor/socials. I think I know roughly the muscles and joints I need to focus on, but I have no idea if it is worth it. I’m not even sure why I am doing it.

  • You never needed to before….

I never warmed up for anything before and never injured, so obviously my body doesn’t feel the need to have a warmup routine.

  • You want to keep that energy for the movement itself

I’m going to have a challenging session for my fitness, I need all the energy and mental commitment possible for the sport/activity. Let’s not waste some of that on a warmup.

  • On the occasion when you do warm up, you feel better in your performance, yet you still skip it as you cannot be bothered.

Some of my best sessions actually happened when I warmed up, yet I still choose to constantly skip this part. That’s sort of confusing right?!    

Okay, so this is not an exhaustive list. These are commonly what I hear! However if you have another reason, please let me know!

Let’s look at an alternative situation

You are in your deepest sleep on the comfiest bed in the middle of the night. Suddenly I burst into the room with a flashing light, banging a saucepan over your head and demanding answers to challenging questions which are somewhere deep in your subconscious.

I’m shouting these into your face and being annoyingly persistent….




I’m predicting the outcome of this will be shock (probably frozen in surprise and confusion) an inability to answer these questions, or even think about these questions, followed by understandable expletives, kicking me out, pulling the duvet over your head and trying to go back to sleep.

But your sleep quality for this night has now dropped heavily, and your mind and body quite possibility are showing signs of some stress.

Why on earth am I getting you to imagine this? Let’s now think about our lifestyle around movement….

Morning movers, you get out of bed, lace up your trainers and immediately jump into your workout. Expecting your body to answer the call, to just as you should have been able to spell rhinoceros immediately.

Rhinoceros was probably on your spelling tests in primary school. The information is buried somewhere in your mind when you search for it, and in ‘normal’ circumstances during the daytime when you are alert and switched on you can spell it relatively fine with some careful consideration. But under pressure with no previous ‘warmup’, it seems pretty impossible.

Evening exercisers, you sit at your desk for most of the day. In calls, answering emails, working through some sedentary to do lists. Even though you are mentally awake, your physical body has been relatively dormant for most of the day. You shut your laptop and immediately demand your body to be astute and responsive, but how responsive would you have been in the depths of the night to tell me about the equation of a circle?

Again, you might know the equation, or if given time you could have researched and applied it to the circumstance. But you need that mental space and time to get there. Our bodies also need that space and time to get warmed up before training.

Your response to me waking you up and demanding results from you resulted in confusion, resistance and ultimately a poorer performance than if those questions were proposed expectantly at a time when the mind was mentally awake and prepared.

You can see where I’m going with this right?

Think about this analogy the next time you want to skip over your warmup. Rather than shocking your body into a workout, coax it into a situation for better results and a more enjoyable journey!

Let’s wrap this blog up with some* wonderful benefits of a warmup

  1. Fire up and engage your target muscles! This helps prevent injuries when the correct muscles are working for the right movements. An example of this would be that the glutes (butt) need to be switched on for running, but sometimes they have trouble engaging when we sit at the desk all day. The result is that the hip flexors can take the load (which is a much smaller group of muscles), and they then get inflamed and angry. This is a personal example from when I started running in my teen years!
  2. Helps support joint health and longevity! We increase the fluid around our joints, helping them limber up prior to the heavier part of your workout. In addition to this, firing up the muscles ensures that our muscles support the movement rather than them not switching on and excessive force is then dumped through our joints.
  3. Increased performance, decreased likelihood of injury! A warmup gradually revs up your cardiovascular system. This gradual blood flow increases the amount of oxygen being fed to your muscles, thus improving muscle elasticity. Not only does this mean better performance but also less likelihood of injury.
  4. Mentally Prepare yourself for the task ahead! The mind and body are connected and we shouldn’t underestimate the power of a clear engaged mind in a workout. Take this time at the start of your session to switch off from your other distractions and allow yourself to mindfully move!  

*definitely not an exhaustive list but I must stop rambling!

Getting mentally ready to move! 🙂

Final thoughts…

The reality is that you probably know that there are heaps of benefits from a warmup, yet we still choose not to do it. Hopefully this helps spell it out to you with more clarity and the analogy helps visualise what we do to our bodies when we skip it!

Personally, I NEVER skip a warmup now, regardless of any time pressures. I cherish my body too much and selfishly want to keep all my hobbies available to me for as long as possible. I firmly believe that correctly warming up will help on this mission.

If you are looking for some warmup inspiration or advice for your chosen sport, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Remember that all our workouts on The Members Portal will always have a mobility based and dynamic based warm up tailored to the activities that lie ahead.

Finally, if you are a running, check out the ‘mobility for runners’ on The Members Portal, which also has a quick warm up sequence for you to add into your sessions.

Go warm up for your next session folks!

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