Workout injuries- six great warm-up physio tips

Exercise and workouts are the key to staying physically active, especially when you’re stuck isolating at home. However, it is very important to include an appropriate warm-up routine to reduce the chance of extreme soreness or injury afterwards.

Workout injuries: physio tips to avoid them

Here are six great warm-up tips to help you avoid injuries whilst working out:

1. Low intensity aerobic activity

Incorporating 5min of low intensity aerobic activity into your warm-up will help prepare your body for working out. This will gradually prime your heart and your muscles by starting a number of metabolic reactions needed during exercise, including raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles.

Ideas can include cycling, brisk walking, jogging or marching on the spot, and jumping jacks.

2. Stretching

Stretching after your aerobic warm-up when your muscles are now warm will help optimise the movement in your joints and lengthen your muscles so that they are ready to work. Ideally you should perform stretches on the main muscle groups involved in your workout. This can be either dynamic stretching where you move your joints through their entire range without holding (e.g. walking lunges, high knees, arm swings), or static stretching where you stretch and hold a specific muscle for 20-30 seconds.

3. Avoid ballistic or ‘bouncing’ stretches and stretches that cause pain.

Whilst dynamic and static stretches are safe to perform, ballistic or ‘bouncing’ stretches are not recommended for non-athletes. This type of stretching involves ‘bouncing’ or ‘pulsing’ movements at the end of a stretch and pushing through the end of range, which can cause your muscles to tense up and the stretch going too deep. This places your muscles at risk of pulling or straining.

Similarly, avoid stretching into pain as this can indicate you are stretching too deeply.

4. Allow enough time for warm-up

It is important to allow yourself enough time for an adequate warm-up, aiming for around 5-10 minutes. However, it is recommended you spend longer on warm-up for more intense workout routines, as well as during cold conditions as this can lower the temperature of your body and muscles, which will increase risk of injury during exercise.

5. Stay hydrated

During exercise, a lot of fluid (as much as 1-2 litres per hour) can be lost from the body through sweat. Without replacing this fluid, the body can become dehydrated and you may experience symptoms such as nausea and poor concentration, which can impact the safety of your exercise. Therefore, drink water before and during your workout to stay hydrated.

6. Cool down

Cooling down is just as important as warming up because it allows the body to recover by relaxing your heart rate, lowering your body temperature, and returning you to your pre-exercise state. Similar to the warm-up, your cool down should include 5 minutes of light aerobic activity (e.g. walking, cycling) and stretches, which can help prevent muscle cramping or stiffness.

Go ahead and consider these tips the next time you work out!

If you are experiencing extreme soreness or injury after working out, our team here at UniquePhysio can help analyse your exercise routine and guide you in the right direction.

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