I often hear, "I don't have time to warm-up". Well, if you don't have time for a warm-up, you definitely don't have time for an injury, so why don't we make time for a warm-up. :)
Warming up benefits your muscles, your mind to muscle connection, your cardiovascular system, and your central nervous system. Your body will learn and adapt to the cues by having a structured warm-up. You're basically telling your body, "hey, we're about to do something. Let's get ready."
A typical warm-up may take 5-10 minutes depending on needs.
Psst. Yes, taking only 5-10 minutes before your workout can help prevent injury.
If you're someone who does not warm-up, this is your sign to start.
What to include:
1. Dynamic stretches to areas that are commonly tight for you. Examples: hip flexors, t-spine, lats, ankles, etc. Depending on your abilities, I would recommend choosing 2-4 dynamic stretches and aim for 1-2 sets per exercise.
2. Activation specific to your abilities, needs, and workout focus for the day. For example, if you have a hard time feeling your glutes in a hip thrust and that's scheduled as your main movement for the day, consider a glute activation exercise. Another example: if you have a hard time initially engaging and bracing your core, consider doing a bird dog or dead bug to encourage activation.
3. Warming up your cardiovascular system to get the blood pumping and body warm (literally). Consider going for a quick jog around your block, hop on the rower for a few minutes, or walk on the treadmill to get your blood flowing.
On paper (your screen), it may seem like, "how the heck am I supposed to complete all of that in 5-10 minutes?!" I promise, it's not as extensive as it seems. All-in-all, you'll likely be completing 4-6 exercises (2-3 minutes total) + cardio (3-7 minutes total) = 5-10 minute warm-up.
These 10 minutes will provide you with a relatively more optimal set up than it would be to just hop right into your workout.
Your warm-up can also serve as a transitional mind shift between a busy day at work and your workout. It gets you into the headspace of, "okay, this is my time. Not my bosses time. Not my employees time. My time." You deserve to focus on YOU during your workout. Use the warm-up as time to refocus and maximize your time with the weights.