When you are prepared to exercise and don’t have much time to begin with, it gets tempting to get right to it and take advantage of the time you do have. Or when you go for a run, maybe you just put on your snickers and burst out the door without thinking of anything else. Neglecting your warm-ups can lead to knee pain and can really affect your leg workouts.
What does a perfect warm-up help you with?
- Increases body temperature
- Increases efficient muscle movement
- Lubricates the joints
- Increases neural activation
- Raises oxygen use for the muscles
- Gets the nerves and the cardiovascular system ready to go
- Helps you perform better.
Avoid rushing things and take a minute before every workout to prepare yourself and warm up your joints. You’ll be glad you did.
You can start warming up your knees with 10 minutes of light intensity cardio, with an easy pace for one or two minutes, gradually increasing intensity. Keep in mind that a worm-up should not be too challenging; the challenge comes when the real workout begins.
Another way you can help your joints obtain a full range of motion is by doing dynamic stretches. This kind of stretching is better than static stretching because it uses controlled leg movements and loosens up muscles. Some examples of dynamic stretches include:
- Side stepping
- Butt kicks
- Backward jogging
Here's a list with does and don’ts for your knees.
- Warm-up and stretch before every workout, emphasizing quad and hamstrings muscles.
- Avoid knee problems by doing cross training on a regular basis to balance out the body.
- Avoid locking knees completely when doing squats and lounges.
- If you are new to an exercise, don’t overdo it.
- Don’t straighten your legs completely when exercising on the bicycle.
- Don’t use more weight than you can handle
- Don’t ignore pain.
If you follow the tips we’ve given you, you will be able to train as intensely as you need to, preventing any problems. There is no limit to the variety of warm-up moves you can do, so find a couple of enjoyable warm-ups and use them before and – why not – after each workout.